Listeria: Follow SA’s medical sleuths as they chase a killer in a race against time

A mechanical hum fills the small room where James Bond is working to track down a killer. His name is printed in black letters on the side of his body.

But this James Bond isn’t the world’s most famous secret agent. It’s one of three gene-sequencing machines at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in Johannesburg.

Working along its Matrix-inspired counterparts, Neo and Niobe, Bond is the size of an average desktop printer. But the state-of-the-art devices can determine the genetic make-up of animal and plant cells in about three days.
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