Monday, March 3, 2008

A Cancer Breathalyzer

Researchers at Swansea Univrsity in Wales are developing a method for detecting cancer and other diseases using your breath. Medgadget reports that Dr. Masood Yousef and his research team have been working on improved volatile marker-based diagnostics. This has been tried before but the improved analytics are bringing them closer to being a reality. The impact for global health could be huge if the costs of the test remain reasonable (no word on pricing yet). Imaging a scenario where a nomadic patient can be given a test result that would usually take a week to come back from the lab—and an additional two weeks to go back and track the person. I'll keep my tabs on this one. Dr. Yousef, if you are reading this, we'd love to chat and introduce you to some cool cellphone technology we're developing with these types of technologies in mind.

Dr Yousef [Dr Masood Yousef, senior research assistant in the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating at Swansea University -ed] believes that the breath test will provide a more convenient and rapid method for diagnosing serious diseases than blood or urine analysis, and will require minimal medical intervention.

He said: "Breath samples are much easier to collect than blood and urine, for the patient as much as for the person collecting the sample. They can be collected anywhere by people with no medical training, and there are no associated biohazard risks."

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