FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A first of its kind mobile lab is increasing food and animal safety in Armenia. A group in Fresno developed the "lab in a box" and is trying to raise money to build more.
The mobile lab is small but powerful. It takes the tools you would find in a lab to diagnose illness and disease in animals and fits it all into a 60-pound case. It cost the Armenian Technology Group $15,000 to build and Varoujan Simonian donated it to a professor in a small village in Armenia.
"Very exciting day, I remember the professor's eyes were popped out, he says, 'I want this right now'," Varoujan said.
It's something the country needed to protect people from tainted food-- especially in poor, undeveloped areas with small farms. Dr. Jim Reynolds helped develop the mobile lab, "With this, we can take samples right on the farm, we can do most of the testing right on the farm or the nearby veterinarian's office," he said.
The box in Armenia was built to treat cattle, sheep, and goats. It can be powered by the sun or hooked up to a car battery and the tools can be used to test blood and urine for parasites, infections and common illnesses like pneumonia. Dr. Reynolds added, "The ones that are important to the farmer, the everyday diseases, the ones that actually cause disease on a weekly or monthly basis."
With the "lab in a box" keeping food safe in small villages, Simonian said productivity on the farms will increase and the economy will improve.
ATG is trying to raise $150,000 to build seven more mobile labs and send them to Armenia or other countries around the world. If you'd like to help, you can make a donation to the Armenian Technology Group in Fresno.
Mobile lab developed in Fresno increasing food and animal safety in Armenia