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August 16, 2010

Cancer detection by an "electronic nose"?

Topics: Health Issues

From the believe-it-or-not department, comes news of an electronic cancer sniffer based on nanotechnology and the molecules a dog can smell - and can determine both the type and location of a tumor:

[...] Scientists have known for some time now that dogs are capable of detecting cancer in earlier stages by sniffing the patient's breath. The animals are able to identify molecules created by a tumor that circulate through patient's blood to the lungs, and leave the body when the patient exhales.

The "artificial nose" was developed based on this knowledge, and the final product -- now integrating a single nanometric sensor -- is very close to a dog's olfactory system.

Research has passed the experimental stage of clinical trials, which showed that the nose could not only differentiate between healthy and sick people, but could also identify the type of tumor the patient had. The four cancers are responsible for half of all the world's fatal tumors.

Read more ...

Hat tip - Yoni Tidi

Posted by Richard at August 16, 2010 9:59 AM

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