Monday, August 31, 2009

On the bright side...

... it has been shown that it is possible to diagnose lung cancer from somebody's breath.
By employing recent developments in nanotechnology, however, researchers from the Israel Institute of Technology have overcome the need to pre-treat exhaled breath for analysis.

The new work appears in the current issue of Nature Nanotechnology. Hossam Haick, the principal researcher, and his team collected breath samples from 56 healthy volunteers and 40 people who had been diagnosed with lung cancer, but have not received treatment yet. They analyzed the samples and identified 33 biomarkers, chemicals that were present at significantly distinct levels in the lung cancer patients.

The team devised a sensor system made from nine chemiresistors that could respond to the biomarkers by altering their electrical properties. The chemiresistors were assembled from gold nanoparticles that are 5nm in diameter and functionalized with different organic compounds that allowed them to sense the biomarkers.

When the researchers exposed the sensors to untreated breath samples, they obtained readings that clearly distinguished between the exhalations of healthy patients and those with lung cancer. Regardless of the humidity of the breath, the gender of its source, or their smoking habits, the sensors were able to detect the lung cancer biomarkers. The sensors were also capable of working with a wide range of concentrations, and the process was reversible, meaning the nanoparticles can be reused.

The researchers point out that they need to test their sensors on "a wider population of volunteers to thoroughly probe the influence of diet, alcohol consumption, metabolic state, and genetics.” Those experiments are already underway.

Isn't human ingenuity brilliant?

5 comments:

Maturecheese said...

I'm sure I heard somewhere that dogs can detect this as well. I know, it sounds daft but this report kind of supports it if you think about it. Nature normally leads the way.

Anonymous said...

This is great news. Now we can diagnose people who have cancer much earlier, which means that they will live longer.

"Cure" figures will rise.

It´s called "lead time bias". Look it up on wiki if you don´t know what it is.

ScotsToryB said...

Well, fuck me anonymong. People will know earlier the approximate time that they will die.

'lead time bias'. - in your tiny cranium means they have more time to look through that glass darkly or in my tiny mind means they have more time to enjoy the residue of their life. I.e. they know sooner that it is about to happen, and when, and they can then decide what they wish to do with the remainder of their life.

What a choice tiny cranium suggests: it's better to know 6 weeks before you die that it is a given than to know 1 year before and have time to do all those things you meant to.....

OFFS!

The list of first against the wall gets longer and longerer.

STB.

David Davis (Libertarian Alliance) said...

The GramscoFabiaNazis would never have been able to come up with this. And yet the buggers want to eraze Israel.

the a&e charge nurse said...

Thanks for this, Devil.

Lets hope is does not turn out to be another cancer chimera.

You may have come across this excellent item by Jobbing Doctor on the problems with early detection.
http://thejobbingdoctor.blogspot.com/2009/09/difficulty-in-diagnosis.html