Typical approaches to diagnosing prostate cancer can be costly and invasive. Furthermore, a large number of prostate cancers are low-grade and won't result in symptoms or death, meaning that without necessarily extending it, aggressive forms of treatment can impact a sufferer's quality of life. In an attempt to establish a less invasive method of detecting the condition, Finnish researchers have developed an electronic nose capable of sniffing the patient's urine sample to distinguish between prostate cancer and benign disease. Read More
Victims of penetrating head injuries usually seek immediate attention, as the hole in their skull is difficult to miss. However, people with closed-head injuries may show few immediate signs of the trauma, and appropriate diagnostic equipment (primarily a CAT scanner) is often not immediately available. A Mexican-US team of researchers has now developed a simple, easy to operate, and inexpensive electromagnetic sensor for traumatic brain injuries, suited to on site use by field personnel and paramedics. Read More
When procuring tissue samples for medical diagnosis, doctors have been confined to bulky and invasive forceps. But with recent successful experiments in pigs, we may see doctors switching from the single forceps to hordes of a thousand "microgrippers." These metal discs, each only 300 micrometers in size, are designed to snip bits of tissue when introduced en masse into the body and then be easily retrieved by a doctor. Their small size, added to the fact that they need no batteries, tethers or wires, belies their complexity and autonomy in function, which could allow the microgrippers to provide diagnoses earlier, more easily, and with less trauma. Read More
Infectious diseases these days seem to have gotten a lot of attention, with media hype and threats of pandemics often being portrayed in apocalyptic sci-fi movies. We all know that several types of these diseases can spread rapidly, and it is crucial that doctors be able to identify them quickly in order to prevent an epidemic. Unfortunately, current testing methods can take hours and even days, delaying the process of adequate prevention. It should then ease your mind to hear that researchers at the University of Tennessee have invented a device that can rapidly detect these unwanted afflictions. Read More
A consortium of scientists has been formed to try and stem the rise of sexually transmitted diseases (or infections as they are now called) that's said to be reaching epidemic proportions in the UK. As early diagnosis and treatment is essential in such matters, the team is creating a self-diagnosis system where results can quickly be displayed on a mobile phone or computer screen. The system could even automatically make an appointment at a clinic or direct the unfortunate sufferer to the nearest pharmacy, where treatment would be waiting. Read More
Although melanoma is one of the less common types of skin cancer, it is responsible for the majority (around 75 percent) of skin cancer related deaths. Part of the problem is that current diagnoses rely on subjective clues such as size, shape and coloring of a mole. With the aim of providing an objective measurement as to whether a lesion may be malignant, researchers at John Hopkins University have developed a prototype non-invasive infrared scanning system that works by looking for the tiny temperature difference between healthy tissue and a growing tumor. Read More
Just as home tests revolutionized the detection of pregnancy, a tiny sensor being developed at the University of Missouri (MU) could bring the benefits of home testing to the diagnosis a variety of diseases, including breast and prostate cancers. The sensor, known as an acoustic resonant sensor, is smaller than a human hair and could one day be used in home testing kits for the easy, rapid and accurate diagnosis of a range of diseases. Read More
Finland's VTT has developed a rapid image analysis method to help diagnose Alzheimer's disease in just a few minutes. The accuracy of the analysis is comparable to manual measurements made by skilled professionals, which are currently considered the most reliable method for diagnosing Alzheimer's disease. The accurate and rapid analysis method is well suited for clinical use. Read More
Because the signature biomarkers that indicate the presence of cancer at the cellular level are generally present only at low levels in biological samples, detecting them is a procedure that usually takes days and involves a room filled with computers. Now researchers have used nanomaterials to develop a microchip small enough to fit in a device the size of a mobile phone, and sensitive enough to do the job in 30 minutes. Read More