November 8, 2011
Scientists Making Strides In Sniffing Out TB Electronically
Indian researchers said on Monday that they were close to developing an "electronic nose" that is capable of sniffing out tuberculosis on someone's breath.
The device is a hand-held unit that is similar to a police breathalyzer used to detect blood alcohol levels.
The "E-Nose" has sensors that pick up TB biomarkers in the breath droplets, resulting in an almost instantaneous and accurate diagnosis.
"We hope to have a prototype ready for clinical testing by October 2013," lead researcher Ranjan Nanda said in a press release.
TB takes about 1.7 million lives every year around the world, and researchers believe the "E-Nose" could save 400,000 lives a year.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Grand Challenges Canada gave the project a $950,000 grant on Monday.
Scientists believe electronic noses could also be created for early detection of lung cancer and pneumonia, based on signature biomarkers that disease is detectable in a patient's breath.
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