Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Laser Detect Potential Diseases

By blasting a person's breath with laser light, scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Colorado at Boulder have shown that they can detect molecules that may be markers for diseases like asthma or cancer.

When breathing, people inhale a complex mixture of gases, including nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, water vapor and traces of other gases like carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide and methane. Exhaled breath contains less oxygen, more carbon dioxide and a rich collection of more than a thousand types of other molecules, most of which are present only in trace amounts.

Just as bad breath can indicate dental problems, excess methylamine may signal liver and kidney disease, ammonia may be a sign of renal failure, elevated acetone levels can indicate diabetes and nitric oxide levels can be used to diagnose asthma.

When many breath molecules are detected simultaneously, highly reliable, disease-specific information can be collected. Asthma, for example, can be detected much more reliably when carbonyl sulfide, carbon monoxide and hydrogen peroxide are all detected simultaneously with nitric oxide.

This new technique has the potential to be low-cost, rapid and reliable, and is sensitive enough to detect a much wider array of biomarkers all at once for a diverse set of diseases.

Laser light can detect and distinguish specific molecules because different molecules vibrate and rotate at certain distinct resonant frequencies that depend on their composition and structure.

No comments:

Paypal To Register

Sign up for PayPal and start accepting credit card payments instantly.

About Me

My photo
Please be often to visit and subscribe for my blog, because that would be really helpful for me. Thank you to read all of my post. If you don't mind come and have a chat with me. ^_^