Illuminate Your Influenza

How would you like to be able to blow into a device and know what you’ve got, no matter what it is, anywhere in your body? We’re not there yet. What we DO have here is a device that, with genetically modified bioluminescent bacteria, can visualize traces of the influenza virus in your body. To do this, you’ve just gotta collect some spit in this special container. In 15 minutes, if the special bacteria inside stop emitting their continuous flow of bioluminescence, you’ve got it.

How to use:

1. Open it up.

2. Insert capsule containing bioluminescent bacteria. This is the item that’s going to do the magic in a few minutes. The capsule is greenish, and the slot you put it in is also green. Just like a TV.

3. Spit on the stick. Or scrape some off of your tongue, either way make sure it’s on the saliva stick. This stick is made of glass in order to have “a more medical and hygienic character.” 10 seconds of spit collection should be enough for the test.

4. Put the cap back on tight. This secures the cap and punctures the liquid capsule (the greenish one you put in there a minute ago.)

5. Wait and observe. After 15 minutes, the test will be complete, and you can see if you’ve got influenza or not. If you do, the virus will have killed the greenish bacteria, stopping it from glowing.

6. Clean the whole contraption. Since none of this stuff sticks permanently, you can use it over and over again. This is great if you’ve got some sort of unnatural fear of influenza, or if you happen to be a doctor or some sort or another.

So the whole process is not unlike taking a sort of pregnancy test, only you use your spit instead of your pee. A couple of other facts: the product is made of glass and CorianTM plastic. The larger than most plastics density of this material “provides the material with a certain “authority” towards the user.” There are magnets in the bottom and the cap of the product, there to hold the product together and to make sure the top is held down hard enough to puncture the bacteria bag in step 4. As with most projects on Yanko, this item is still in the concept phase and is not yet picked up to produce.

You can view a copy of the thesis paper associated with this very extensively researched project at

Designer: Jan van der Asdonk

FluDOC for Bioluminescent Bacteria









  • Meira says:

    This is very interesting, I wouldn’t mind having one. It could definitely be used to help prevent pandemics I think.

  • mi says:

    The poor bio-luminescent bacteria did nothing to you :(. Still, this is a great application.

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