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Laser system to detect diseases faster

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Image from 2012.igem.org
Image from 2012.igem.org

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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Beware! Sipping Hot Tea Raises Risk of Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal cancer is the sixth most common cancer in India and eighth most globally. It affects more men than women.

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Scalding water irritates the lining of the mouth and throat which can fuel tumours, scientists believe. Pixabay

Love to drink your tea piping hot? Beware, it could raise the risk of esophageal cancer, finds a study.

The study showed that risk of esophageal cancer more than doubled among those who regularly drank tea at 75 degrees Celsius

However, waiting for at least four minutes before drinking a cup of freshly boiled tea can reduce the risk of the cancer arising from the oesophagus — the food pipe that runs between the throat and the stomach.

“Many people enjoy drinking tea, coffee, or other hot beverages. However, according to our report, drinking very hot tea can increase the risk of esophageal cancer, and it is therefore advisable to wait until hot beverages cool down before drinking,” said lead author Farhad Islami of the American Cancer Society.

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The study showed that risk of esophageal cancer more than doubled among those who regularly drank tea at 75 degrees Celsius. Pixabay

The study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, involved 50,045 individuals aged 40 to 75 years.

Drinking 700 ml per day of tea or more at a higher temperature (60 degrees Celsius or higher) was associated with a 90 per cent higher risk of esophageal cancer, the researchers said.

The results could also be extended to coffee, hot chocolate or other hot beverages.

Esophageal cancer is the sixth most common cancer in India and eighth most globally. It affects more men than women.

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The results could also be extended to coffee, hot chocolate or other hot beverages. pixabay

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In 2016, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had warned of the cancer risk associated with drinks above 65 degrees Celsius.

Scalding water irritates the lining of the mouth and throat which can fuel tumours, scientists believe. (IANS)