Monday, May 4

NASA's Electronic Nose To Sniff Out Danger

An electronic nose...that can smell... I am blown away every day by the leaps of technological advances. Of course, NASA has a keen sense of smell for cool technology, so it comes as no surprise that they have created a nose that sniffs out cancer.

NASA's recently developed electronic nose, intended for air quality monitoring on Space Shuttle Endeavors, has a rather fortunate and unintended secondary role. In addition to being able to detect contaminants within about one to 10,000 parts per million, scientists have discovered it can also sniff out the difference in odor between normal and cancerous brain cells.

Groups such the as Brain Mapping Foundation, City of Hope Cancer Center, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory have been testing the technology and hope it one day leads to a new understanding of cancer development. I also share their hopes and dreams as someone I know has been recently diagnosed with cancer.

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