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Cancer: the Scent


If people with untreated diabetes can have fruity-smelling breath, then what might the breath of a cancer patient smell like? Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic are developing a way to detect the various biomarkers of cancer in human breath using changing colors on a reactive chemical indicator array, reports The Globe and Mail's Rick Pilger. In the clinic's latest study, the color array was 80 percent to 85 percent accurate in determining whether a subject had lung cancer.

In Canada, a company called Picomole Instruments is developing technology capable of analyzing human breath to detect disease, Pilger adds. Picomole is partnering with the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute to test its technology in clinical trials of lung cancer patients. "The breath analysis technology developed by [the Picomole] team is based on infrared spectroscopy, an analytical technique that takes advantage of the fact that molecules absorb infrared light at specific wavelengths characteristic of their structure," Pilger says. "Picomole's technology, called LISA (Laser Infrared Sample Analysis), is capable of providing an extremely comprehensive analysis of a breath sample."

The Scan

More Boosters for US

Following US Food and Drug Administration authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the Washington Post writes.

From a Pig

A genetically modified pig kidney was transplanted into a human without triggering an immune response, Reuters reports.

For Privacy's Sake

Wired reports that more US states are passing genetic privacy laws.

Science Paper on How Poaching Drove Evolution in African Elephants

In Science this week: poaching has led to the rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants.