Friday, May 10, 2013

Researchers Develop Inexpensive Technology for Diagnosing Illnesses

My opinion: Year to year, researchers must spend so much money developing new inventions for the good of the world.  However, I believe that we do not have to reinvent the wheel to make a discovery.  Rather, many solutions to some of the worlds greatest problems are right under our noses.  Hence, by taking ideas from what we already have, we may save money in the research process, which is especially important considering the recent cuts in research efforts.  Diagnosis is one of the most challenging aspects to healthcare.  Sometimes, examining a patient's symptoms and medical history is not enough to correctly infer upon his or her conditionBy utilizing nanoparticles and enzymes, however, doctors have access to substantial evidence that may lead them to a better diagnosisI think it is easiest to eliminate global illnesses by tackling it with diagnosis first.  Then, by understand the extent and power of the illnesses, it will be easier to develop aggressive treatments.  Feel free to comment.

Fast, cheap methods of diagnosing infectious disease? They're coming sooner than you think

Warren Chan, right, and Kyryl Zagorovsky in their research lab in the University of Toronto. (Peter Power/The Globe and Mail)

How do you measure the extent of a medical advance? By the amount of cutting-edge research it involves, or the number of lives it affects?
Scientists at the University of Toronto have devised a cheap and rapid method of testing for numerous infectious diseases, that can be administered by anyone who can tell red from purple. All that’s needed is a little sachet of freeze-dried powder, some water and a drop of blood.
There are still hurdles to be cleared before the test is ready for wide use, but its potential reach is immense. It could make quick, accurate diagnosis possible even in impoverished parts of the world, speed up detection and response to developing pandemics, and even help slow the evolution of drug-resistant superbugs.
It uses gold nanoparticles and tailored DNA enzymes, locked in solution in a colour-coded embrace that shatters and changes hue when the target pathogen comes along. But the basic science of this biochemical drama isn’t new – the innovation lies in the way it is being applied.
DNA enzymes are frequently used as bio-sensors, and gold nanoparticles are already widely used as the colour-changing element in over-the-counter pregnancy tests.
“But nobody has ever put them together before,” says Kyryl Zagorovsky, a PhD student at the U of T’s Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (IBBME), who spent two years refining the test through exhaustive trial and error.


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