A nucleic acid amplification and detection device includes an amplification cartridge with a plurality of reaction chambers for containing an amplification reagent and a visual detection reagent, and a plurality of optically transparent view ports for viewing inside the reaction chambers. The cartridge also includes a sample receiving port which is adapted to receive a fluid sample and fluidically connected to distribute the fluid sample to the reaction chamber, and in one embodiment, a plunger is carried by the cartridge for occluding fluidic communication to the reaction chambers. The device also includes a heating apparatus having a heating element which is activated by controller to generate heat when a trigger event is detected. The heating apparatus includes a cartridge-mounting section which positioned a cartridge in thermal communication with the heating element so that visual changes to the contents of the reaction chambers are viewable through the view ports.
FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
 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.