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Laser system to detect diseases faster

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Image from 2012.igem.org
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Sydney: Researchers are developing a laser system for a non-invasive, on-site breath analysis that can screen various diseases including diabetes, infections and cancer in a moment.

The team from University of Adelaide has developed an instrument like an “optical dog’s nose” that uses a special laser to measure the molecular content of a sample of gas, which can hit the market in three-five years.

“The laser system uses light to ‘sense’ the range of molecules that are present in the sample,” said James Anstie, research fellow with the university’s Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS).

Those molecules are by-products of metabolic processes in the body and their levels change when things go wrong.

Diseases like lung and esophageal cancer, asthma and diabetes can be detected in this way even before external symptoms are showing, said the study that appeared in the journal Optics Express.

The system uses a specialised laser that sends up to a million different light frequencies through the sample.

Each molecule absorbs light at different optical frequencies and, therefore, has a unique molecular fingerprint.

“The next step is to work out how to accurately sample and interpret the levels which will naturally vary from person to person,” the researchers said.

Other potential applications include measuring trace gasses, such as atmospheric carbon dioxide, and detecting impurities in natural gas streams.

(IANS)

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Study Shows Weight Loss Surgery Can Reduce Risk of Skin Cancer

Bariatric surgery, a weight loss operation, is associated with a 61 per cent decrease in the risk of developing malignant skin cancer, according to a study.

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Bariatric Surgery
representational image. Pixabay

Bariatric surgery, a weight loss operation, is associated with a 61 per cent decrease in the risk of developing malignant skin cancer, according to a study.

Melanoma is a deadly form of skin cancer, most closely associated with excessive sun exposure. Obesity is an established risk factor for cancer and some studies indicate that intentional weight loss sometimes reduces the risk.

However, evidence for a link between obesity, weight loss and malignant melanoma is limited.

The new findings showed that bariatric surgery led to a 42 per cent reduced risk of skin cancer in general compared to controls given usual obesity care.

The study “supports the idea that obesity is a melanoma risk factor and indicates that weight loss in individuals with obesity can reduce the risk of bariatric surgery that has increased steadily in many countries over several decades”, said lead author Magdalena Taube from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

Cancer word on newspaper
Cancer. Pixabay

The results were presented at the 2018 European Congress on Obesity in Vienna, Austria.

The protective effect of bariatric surgery on skin cancer was observed in a group of 2,007 obese participants who were then followed for a median of 18 years.

These were compared with a control group consisting of 2,040 individuals who matched with the participants who underwent surgery on sex, age, anthropometric measurements, cardiovascular risk factors, psychosocial variables and personality traits.

Also Read: Study Shows that Humans Are Influencing Cancer in Wild Animals

To analyse malignant melanoma incidence, statistical tests were used to compare time to first melanoma cancer diagnosis between the surgery and control groups.

In additional analyses, risk ratios between the surgery and control groups were compared. (IANS)

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