An automated real-time flow-through system capable of processing multiple samples in an asynchronous, simultaneous, and parallel fashion for nucleic acid extraction and purification, followed by assay assembly, genetic amplification, multiplex detection, analysis, and decontamination. The system is able to hold and access an unlimited number of fluorescent reagents that may be used to screen samples for the presence of specific sequences. The apparatus works by associating extracted and purified sample with a series of reagent plugs that have been formed in a flow channel and delivered to a flow-through real-time amplification detector that has a multiplicity of optical windows, to which the sample-reagent plugs are placed in an operative position. The diagnostic apparatus includes sample multi-position valves, a master sample multi-position valve, a master reagent multi-position valve, reagent multi-position valves, and an optical amplification/detection system.
 The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344 between the United States Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.