One of the best advantages of living in the modern times is that numerous things come faster and easier. Such benefit is applicable to different aspects of people’s lives; from the simplest to the most complex ones. And just recently, making headlines are good news regarding the detection of cancer and other infectious diseases. What usually takes hours could possibly happen in just 10 minutes or even in the blink of an eye.
According to Phys.org, a group of UCLA researchers discovered a way to simplify and speed up the detection of proteins in the blood and plasma, hence the potential diagnosis of early stages of cancer and other infectious diseases is expected. This new method would only take 10 minutes, which is a great improvement compared to the current test that lasts for two to four hours.
The team came up with an approach to magnify a protein signal without enzymes. This skips the complex system of washing away enzymes, which is done in the current method to avoid false positives. Additionally, enzymes can breakdown if not kept at the right temperatures; hence complicating the test. The new approach used molecular chain reaction triggered only in a target protein’s presence.
A cycle of DNA binding events drives the molecular chain reaction. In the process, a DNA key is divided into two parts, which bind together and form a DNA complex when a target protein is present. Soon after, the formation generates DNA signaling molecules that generate the same DNA complex. This leads to more signaling molecules; therefore, repeated cycles are propagated.
Moreover, Omai Garner, associate director of the clinical microbiology lab at UCLA Health, stressed that the technique has broad applications. It could also be used to detect other diseases like Ebola and Zika.
Meanwhile, Science Daily reported about the findings of a separate research suggesting that breast cancer can possibly be detected in just a blink of an eye. In the study, researchers showed mammograms to radiologists and found that they could identify abnormal mammograms in half a second. The ability was further tested and researchers believe that the gathered information could lead to the improvement of breast cancer screenings and early detection.
With the abovementioned study results, it can be safe to say that new methods to detect cancer and other infectious diseases are on their way to improving numerous people’s health. They could likewise save more lives.