Sunday, January 15, 2017

Hot Breath Cancer Detector

Turn your brozilla breath into a disease detector.

You Are What You Exhale: Different Diseases Have Distinct Chemical Signatures

The team uses an "artificially intelligent nanoarray" called the Na-Nose. This artificially intelligent sensory system uses gold nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes.

They’re looking for 13 chemicals, but not just for their presence; they’re looking for distinct profiles of those molecules – “odor signatures” says Prof. Hossam Haick from Israel Institute of Technology.

It’s quick and invasive and was 86% correct (but still not accurate enough for clinical diagnosis).

This needs to mentioned – Science still doesn’t know how olfaction works. Is it a shape-based interaction between receptors and aromatic molecules, or is it the vibrations of those molecules that stimulate receptors? Still don’t know. Science certainly doesn’t have to wait, however, to approximate an artificial nose. Examples of these sensory devices for specific purposes are becoming more common.

Regardless, none of these technologies does what our olfactory system does. They are pre-programmed to identify specific molecules. They are already given the things they are meant to look for. Our olfactory system, and the thing that makes it so special, is that it is ready for anything. There are an infinite number of molecules to be identified, and we cannot be born ‘pre-programmed’ for all of them. Still, exciting stuff.  

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