Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists, working with a Southern California company, have announced development of a simple diagnostic kit to screen babies for deadly sickle cell anemia.

The scientists said Wednesday the $210 kit can be used almost anywhere, even by a non-technician. Results can be obtained in 15 minutes, they said.

Because the procedure does not involve a machine that requires an electrical outlet, the kit can be carried to remote Third World areas, where the problem is especially severe.

The new tool is called the Joint Sickling Hemoglobin Universal Assay (JOSHUA) Sickle Screen. It can analyze up to 400 patients within 90 minutes, the scientists said.