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Author Topic:   using your cd-rom to test for anthrax
riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 27 days)
Posts: 5746
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 1 of 45 (301457)
04-06-2006 7:28 AM


I wish I could find the story, but I can't. I think I saw it last night on the science channel.

This guy developed software to test over 150 (adding more) different powdered substances using a blank cd, and your cd drive in your computer. It is really meant to have a quick way of testing any powdered substance that might come in the mail, etc.

You take a blank cd, put a drop of water on the inner circle, add the suspected substance. Bake in an oven at 75F for 20 minutes. Add a protective cover, and insert into your cd rom drive. With the software it uses the laser in the drive which has a resolution to 300 nanometers? to read the image left by the stain. Then a spectrograph of sorts pops up on your computer, and you can just compare images. I think it even tells you what it is, if it recognizes it.

I thought that was cool. What a practical application of science, using common items.


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by nwr, posted 04-06-2006 8:46 AM riVeRraT has not yet responded
 Message 3 by crashfrog, posted 04-06-2006 8:58 AM riVeRraT has responded
 Message 6 by jar, posted 04-06-2006 11:11 AM riVeRraT has responded

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 2 of 45 (301467)
04-06-2006 8:46 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by riVeRraT
04-06-2006 7:28 AM


To me, this reads like an urban legend.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by riVeRraT, posted 04-06-2006 7:28 AM riVeRraT has not yet responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 45 (301469)
04-06-2006 8:58 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by riVeRraT
04-06-2006 7:28 AM


CD-ROM drives don't have the sort of photodetector you'd need to run that kind of spectrogram. It's an urban legend.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by riVeRraT, posted 04-06-2006 7:28 AM riVeRraT has responded

Replies to this message:
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riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 27 days)
Posts: 5746
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 4 of 45 (301497)
04-06-2006 10:42 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by crashfrog
04-06-2006 8:58 AM


I watched them do it on the science channel.
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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 Message 13 by crashfrog, posted 04-06-2006 2:22 PM riVeRraT has responded

  
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2202 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 5 of 45 (301501)
04-06-2006 10:59 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by riVeRraT
04-06-2006 10:42 AM


You didn't watch them do it on the Science channel last Saturday did you?

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by riVeRraT, posted 04-06-2006 10:42 AM riVeRraT has responded

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jar
Member
Posts: 30935
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 6 of 45 (301504)
04-06-2006 11:11 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by riVeRraT
04-06-2006 7:28 AM


sorry but this one seems just plain funny.
It is really meant to have a quick way of testing any powdered substance that might come in the mail, etc.

So you handle, breathe, disolve the substance.

Bake in an oven at 75F for 20 minutes.

Bake in an oven at 75o F? Right. Go look at the temp dial on your oven. Why not just leave it on a counter top for 20 minutes. Most homes are 70o or so.

Add a protective cover, and insert into your cd rom drive.

Yeah, right. Try inserting a cd with a cover on it into your cd player.

You take a blank cd, put a drop of water on the inner circle, add the suspected substance.

Guess what? The cd player does not read the inner circle. That's why it's used to print things like batch numbers et al.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 27 days)
Posts: 5746
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 7 of 45 (301510)
04-06-2006 11:16 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Wounded King
04-06-2006 10:59 AM


No, last night. I can't seem to find any info to back up what I saw.
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riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 27 days)
Posts: 5746
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 8 of 45 (301515)
04-06-2006 11:20 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by jar
04-06-2006 11:11 AM


Re: sorry but this one seems just plain funny.
jar, you are funny.
Instead of trying to prove it wrong, try to imagine how it would be done. It was the science channel, not E!

You don't ahndle it, only qualified people can.
The oven they used was a labrotory oven, kind of looked like a toaster oven, probably used to speed up culture growth.
The cover was a thin pastic film, so that you wouldn't contaminate your drive.
They probably use the inner cirle because there is no information there, and need a clean read. You can instruct your cd-rom to do whatever you want, if you know how to program it. It was within the inner 1 inch of the cd.


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 Message 6 by jar, posted 04-06-2006 11:11 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
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jar
Member
Posts: 30935
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 9 of 45 (301524)
04-06-2006 11:31 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by riVeRraT
04-06-2006 11:20 AM


Re: sorry but this one seems just plain funny.
jar, you are funny.
Instead of trying to prove it wrong, try to imagine how it would be done. It was the science channel, not E!

Sorry RR but you stated in your Op "using your cd-rom to test for anthrax" and that my friend, negates almost everything you say in the rest of your post.

You don't ahndle it, only qualified people can.

Negated by your OP.

The oven they used was a labrotory oven, kind of looked like a toaster oven, probably used to speed up culture growth.

Negated by your OP. Also, 70o F is room temperature.

The cover was a thin pastic film, so that you wouldn't contaminate your drive.

Again, negated by your OP.

They probably use the inner cirle because there is no information there, and need a clean read.

No, it was a blank disk, remember? And guess what? There is information in the inner circle, it's where they print batch numbers and tracking information. There is no information on the writable part of the disk.

You can instruct your cd-rom to do whatever you want, if you know how to program it.

Well, no you can't. You cannot program a CD drive to read areas where the head cannot physically cover. If the head will not move over a spot because it is outside the tracking area, then all the programing in the world won't move the head there.

This message has been edited by jar, 04-06-2006 10:55 AM


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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kjsimons
Member
Posts: 665
From: Orlando,FL
Joined: 06-17-2003


Message 10 of 45 (301528)
04-06-2006 11:36 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by jar
04-06-2006 11:11 AM


Re: sorry but this one seems just plain funny.
Bake in an oven at 75o F? Right. Go look at the temp dial on your oven. Why not just leave it on a counter top for 20 minutes. Most homes are 70o or so.

Well down here in Orlando it's in the upper 80's today, my air is set at about 77, so I guess I would just have to crank the air down a couple of degrees. :D


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riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 27 days)
Posts: 5746
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 11 of 45 (301593)
04-06-2006 2:08 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by jar
04-06-2006 11:31 AM


Re: sorry but this one seems just plain funny.
Ok dude, your right, it's all a lie.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by jar, posted 04-06-2006 11:31 AM jar has responded

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jar
Member
Posts: 30935
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 12 of 45 (301600)
04-06-2006 2:15 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by riVeRraT
04-06-2006 2:08 PM


Where did I say it was a lie?
I don't remember saying it was a lie. Rather I imagine it most likely was an April Fool's story. It could also just be infotainment like the UFO shows, Big Foot, Alien Abductions or homepathic medicines.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 45 (301605)
04-06-2006 2:22 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by riVeRraT
04-06-2006 10:42 AM


I watched them do it on the science channel.

The same channel that runs "Ghost Hunters"?

Look, CD-ROM drives don't work that way. They detect the way pits on the reflective CD surface cause the laser to interfere with itself on its way back to the photodetector.

It's not an optical scanner, it's an interferometer. You can't just shine it at an arbitrary surface and get signal back. If you shone it at your goofy anthrax test mixture, the laser would simply disappate. You'd get no reflection back to the detector optics so the CD-ROM head would have nothing to detect.

It's not possible, RR. It's a hoax, like the spaghetti crop or the vinyl-based LP-ROM drive.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 27 days)
Posts: 5746
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 14 of 45 (301609)
04-06-2006 2:25 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by kjsimons
04-06-2006 11:36 AM


Re: sorry but this one seems just plain funny.
It may have been 175F, my kid was talking to me while I was watching the show. They did say 20 minutes, and not to hot to melt the cd.

I thought 75F sounded odd, but all they needed to do was dry the stain.
The oven in this link looks like the one they used in the program, which starts at 50C.
http://www.ascoindia.com/laboratory-heating-systems/laboratory-electric-oven.html

But they did use a standard PC with a cr drive. Something about the laser being able to read the signature left behind by the stain.

They did perform the whole operation on the show, it was the science channel, and I think it was beyond tomorrow, or discoveries this week, I don't remember, I was surfing.


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riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 27 days)
Posts: 5746
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 15 of 45 (301613)
04-06-2006 2:28 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by crashfrog
04-06-2006 2:22 PM


It's not an optical scanner, it's an interferometer.

right I understand that, I said like a spectrograph. I don't know how it works. They viewed a graph in the end product. Maybe the light is being blocked in a certain measurable manor?

I don't doubt that it could be a hoax. If it is, they presented it like it was real, I was so amazed, that is why I brought it here.

But the program was not a hoax type program. Ghost hunters is.


This message is a reply to:
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