World’s Most Precious Metal Now Used to Diagnose Disease.
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Boston, MA (PRWEB) March 19, 2013
Doctors Health Press, a division of Lombardi Publishing Corporation and publisher of various natural health newsletters, books, and reports, including the popular online Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin, is reporting on a new study from Canada finding that using gold nanoparticles in combination with a device lets technicians test for many diseases at the same time, with a high degree of accuracy.
As the Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin (http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/general-health-2/worlds-most-precious-metal-now-used-to-diagnose-disease) notes, the researchers are studying gold nanoparticles—doses that are extremely small. They are attempting to customize those gold particles to illuminate cancer cells so the tumors would come to light for an easy diagnosis. One day, the particles could be used to deliver drugs to fight the tumors. Gold is used because it emits an intense color that is easy to spot.
As the article “World’s Most Precious Metal Now Used to Diagnose Disease” reports, gold particles are used, for instance, in a typical pregnancy test. By sensing a certain hormone in the urine, the gold particles turn the pregnancy “stick” red, revealing a pregnancy. Elsewhere, gold particles are combined with DNA and, if it turns blue, a certain disease (like malaria) is present.
While the Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin article states that the study gets rather complicated now, essentially the researchers have created a way in which a DNA sample turns red, reflecting the presence of a particular disease. The advantage is that not much of a person’s DNA material is needed to notice color changes. The DNA could come via a blood sample or, more simply, a saliva sample—or even both. This way, researchers could test for multiple diseases in the span of a few minutes.
Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin concludes that this research opens some big doors, with the hope that the technology could lead to efficient, inexpensive, over-the-counter tests for diseases as serious as HIV. But it could swing open many more doors as well, to other serious health problems. This could be a nice step in the direction of making simple, portable diagnostic devices, and it could be quite useful in areas of the world where heading to the hospital for an MRI is not possible.
(SOURCE: Vollick, E., “Pour, shake and stir: How gold particles, DNA and water have potential to shape the future of medicine,” University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine web site, March 4, 2013.)
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