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Early signs of cancer found by nanowires

From Medical News Today, a report on work by Foresight Feynman Prize winner Charles Lieber of Harvard: “Harvard University researchers have found that molecular markers indicating the presence of cancer in the body are readily detected in blood scanned by special arrays of silicon nanowires — even when these cancer markers constitute only one hundred-billionth of the protein present in a drop of blood. In addition to this exceptional accuracy and sensitivity, the minuscule devices also promise to pinpoint the exact type of cancer present with a speed not currently available to clinicians…

” ‘This is one of the first applications of nanotechnology to healthcare and offers a clinical technique that is significantly better than what exists today,’ says author Charles M. Lieber, Mark Hyman Jr. Professor of Chemistry in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. ‘A nanowire array can test a mere pinprick of blood in just minutes, providing a nearly instantaneous scan for many different cancer markers. It’s a device that could open up substantial new possibilities in the diagnosis of cancer and other complex diseases.’ ” See abstract at Nature Biotechnology. (Credit: Foresight director Glenn Reynolds and Participating Member Russell Whitaker)

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