Google is developing a cancer and heart attack-detecting pill

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Google is working on a nanoparticle pill that could identify cancers, heart attacks and other diseases before they become a problem.

The pill would contain magnetic particles approximately 10,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. These tiny particles will have antibodies or proteins attached to them that detect the presence of “biomarker” molecules inside the body that indicate diseases such as cancer or an imminent heart attack.

“Essentially the idea is simple; you just swallow a pill with the nano particles, which are decorated with antibodies or molecules that detect other molecules,” explained Andrew Conrad, head of life sciences inside the Google’s “moonshot” X research lab to WSJD Live conference in California Tuesday. “They course through your body and because the cores of these particles are magnetic, you can call them somewhere and ask them what they saw.”

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  • TJJoy

    Though this idea looks elegant and simple, there are few critical questions that need to be answered:
    1. Nanoparticles will not stay in the blood forever. It will be eliminated from our body. This means one has to consume these pills on a daily basis or more frequently that raises toxicity concerns associated with nanoparticles. Consumption of too much nanopartices, which can be made up of metals,, may cause diseases such as cancer?
    2. Some these markers present at a very low concentration, more often requires very high sensitive technology to detect these biomarkers. Hopefully, this wearable device has that much sensitivity.

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