Scientists from Glasgow University claim they have created a device which can detect malaria within minutes.
Doctors have welcomed the development as more travellers go abroad without taking proper precautions against the deadly virus.
The flu-like symptoms can be missed until the patient is critically ill.
Blood samples are placed in the microchip, which is also designed to detect the strain of virus. This means the best drug can be used to treat it.
Last year a study revealed more cases of the most dangerous type of malaria than ever before are being brought back to the UK from trips abroad.
The Health Protection Agency study identified 6,753 cases of falciparum malaria diagnosed between 2002 and 2006.
Experts said many of the cases arose from visits to west Africa made by people visiting relatives and friends.
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