GE Global Research under a federal contract will develop wearable RFID sensors to detect the presence of environmental chemical agents in the air and sample breath as an early indicator of disease.

The Niskayuna, N.Y.-based firm has received a $2 million award from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. The funding was authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The sensors, smaller than a penny, could be part of a typical identification badge. "Sensing film" on the sensors could recognize vapors of chemical agents. Breathing on the sensor potentially could pick up biomarkers that could give an early signal to the presence of diabetes, cancer or metabolic disorders, according to the company.

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--Joseph Goedert

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