To keep ahead of the crush of deer and elk heads submitted by hunters for chronic wasting disease tests this year, the state Division of Wildlife and Colorado State University have four tools they hope will speed up the process.
• The Ribolyzer, which the labs can use to grind thyroid glands quicker than by hand, so the tissue can be tested for CWD.
• An automated robot to transfer tissue through portions of the process.
• ELISA, or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, system that detects CWD in tissue in five hours rather than 53 hours.
• Bar codes linking hunters’ licenses, division samples and lab reports that can be scanned into handheld computers and transmitted to a common database.