3D hydrogel biochips offer better diagnosis of early-stage bowel cancer

Early detection is paramount to survival from bowel cancer, but doing so is difficult because most symptoms don't present until the cancer matures. Worse, existing diagnostic tests tend to be invasive and traumatic. Russian scientists hope to change this with a new biochip technology that can gather better, more precise data for diagnostic analysis. The scientists report that their new method far outstrips traditional methods of diagnosing bowel cancer. Read More


New sensor system enables robots to look inside luggage

Luggage lying around unattended at an airport justifiably triggers the jitters. The hazardous task of getting up close to inspect what could potentially be a bomb that could explode any time invariably falls to the bomb squad. Researchers have come up with a way to minimize the risk by creating a sophisticated, robot-mountable, sensor system that allows authorities to scan a piece of luggage and get an accurate image of its contents. The contact-free detection system could not only potentially help bomb specialists assess the danger quickly, but it could also help them obtain vital evidence.Read More


New sensor detects water contamination in real time

Currently, if you want to check water supplies for the presence of toxic bacteria, you have to take a water sample and then culture it in a lab over several days. In the meantime, it's impossible to say if the water source is safe to use. A group of students from the Technical University of Denmark, however, have created a sensor that they say can detect bacteria in water instantly, on the spot.Read More


Bioelectronic nose sniffs out bacteria in water

Currently, when scientists want to know if bacteria are present in water, they have two main choices. They can take a sample to the lab, where they'll try growing the suspected bacteria in it, and then count the number of resulting colonies to determine the concentration. Or, they can analyze it using expensive lab-based gas chromatography or mass spectrometry equipment. Now, however, researchers from Seoul National University have developed a "bioelectronic nose" that could be used on location, and that is reportedly more sensitive than existing techniques.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Thumb ring diagnoses sexually-transmitted diseases

Although most people with multiple sexual partners know that being checked for STDs is the responsible thing to do, many don’t do so because of the stigma associated with going to the clinic. That’s why a Silicon Valley-based startup has developed the Hoope ring. It’s worn on the thumb, and can reportedly diagnose diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis in less than a minute.Read More

London to trial cyclist detect systems at traffic lights

In what it calls a "world first," Transport for London (TfL) will trial cyclist detection systems at traffic lights in the city with a view to improving cycle-flow. The technology aims to detect the number of cyclists travelling along a route. It then adjusts traffic signal timings to give cyclists more time on green lights.Read More


Breath test for malaria is in the air

At present, diagnosing malaria can be a difficult process involving powerful microscopes and careful scanning of blood samples for tiny parasites in a technique discovered in 1880. But a more accessible method may be in the works. A team of Australian scientists has discovered that certain chemicals are present and can be detected in the breath of sufferers, raising the possibility of a cheap breath test to diagnose the deadly disease. Read More


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