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01/13/2014

Detecting malaria with sound

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    A new early-detection test for malaria will not require a blood sample, and instead will detect the presence of the disease by listening for it.
    The method will be based on the presence of hemoozion, a nanoparticle produced inside the red blood cell by the malaria parasite. Subjecting the homozoin to a short wave laser pulse will cause it to create a short-lived, vapor nanobubble that will emit a signature sound when it pops. This sound can be picked up by a sensitive acoustic device, allowing the disease to be detected in the early stages without the need to draw blood or use a reagent. Additionally, once the device is fully developed it will not even require a medical professional to carry out the testing.
    The new device was able to detect a single malaria-infected cell among a sample of one million healthy cells, with no false positives.
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Dr. Gibbson
 
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