Google is already in our cars, our homes and on our wrists, but now it could soon be inside our bodies too.
Google X, the company’s research lab already in charge of self-driving cars, high-altitude balloons to deliver internet and Google Glass, is now developing a pill that could detect cancer and other diseases.
The pill, which is filled with tiny iron-oxide nanoparticles that enter the bloodstream, can identity cancer tumour cells – which give off early biochemical signals when they contract the disease.
It works by “painting” infected cells which travels round the body.
The nanoparticles are magnetic, so a wearable device worn on the wrist that creates a magnetic field can draw the particles – with their target cells in tow – toward it, where they can be detected and counted.
The nanoparticles monitor and test cells rather than delivering drugs, giving a heads-up on potentially life-threatening diseases.
Google is in the early stages – at least five years away from a product approved for use by doctors – but they say they are working towards proactive detection rather than reactive treatment.
“Every test you ever go to the doctor for will be done through this system,” said Dr Andrew Conrad, a molecular biologist and head of the Life Sciences team at Google X. “That’s our dream.
The team has already started working on smart contact lens to measure glucose in the tears of diabetes patients as well as eating utensils which cancel out hand tremors from Parkinsons or MS.
Scientists believe nanotechnology could greatly enhance medicine.
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SOURCE: The Telegraph UK