Thursday, May 29, 2008

Detection Diseases Through Breath

Scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University Of Colorado at Boulder have shown that, by blasting breath with laser light, they can detect molecules that may be markers for diseases such as asthma and cancer.

During breathing, we inhale and exhale more than a thousand types of molecules like carbon dioxide and oxygen; distinct combinations and amounts in our breath can be signs of specific diseases. The test, called optical frequency comb spectroscopy, works on the basis that molecules vibrate and rotate at discrete frequencies of light, so their presence- and concentrations- in breath can be identified from thses frequencies.

According to the researchers' article in the online edition of Optics Express, the technique- which has yet to be tested in clinical trials- has the potential to be powerful, low-cost and rapid enough that doctors may someday be able to screen for diseases simply by sampling patients breath.

Cheap Web Hosting | Top Web Hosts | Great HTML Templates from