Author Topic: Missile Detector Used To Spot Malaria Signs  (Read 196 times)

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Offline EC

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Missile Detector Used To Spot Malaria Signs
« on: July 22, 2014, 05:42:49 AM »
Now this is clever as all get out.



Technology used to detect incoming enemy missiles has been modified to alert doctors to the signs of early-stage malaria.

The Focal Plane Array detector is typically used to spot anti-tank missiles and can scan an area for heat signals within seconds.

A team of researchers from Australia has now combined the technology with a microscope to analyse red blood cells for traces of the malaria parasite.

It does this by looking for the infrared signature of fatty acids the parasite is made up of.

The system can detect the parasite in a single blood cell within just four minutes, and does not require specialist technicians which are often hard to come by in the developing world.

The team - from Monash University and the University of Melbourne - published their findings in the journal Analyst.

Monash University associate Professor Bayden Wood told Radio Australia: "What we're actually detecting is the vibration of molecules, because heat is essentially molecules vibrating.

"In the case of the malaria-infected cells, these have a specific signature, which enables us to detect the parasites within the red blood cells."

Early diagnosis of malaria is key for effective treatment, however there is a period where patients are not symptomatic or do not show classic symptoms.

The equipment used it currently confined to the laboratory, but the team is working on a battery-powered system for use in the field.

Prof Wood hopes to get the diagnostic approach to clinical trials in two to three years.

From Sky News: http://news.sky.com/story/1305427/missile-detector-used-to-spot-malaria-signs
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Online Oceander

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Re: Missile Detector Used To Spot Malaria Signs
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2014, 07:29:57 AM »
interesting

Offline EC

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Re: Missile Detector Used To Spot Malaria Signs
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2014, 07:44:32 AM »
It certainly has potential. Aligncare probably has better insights, but if it's fast and effective it is going to save a ton of lives. Battery power will be brutal though, for a check through on a clinic.
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Offline aligncare

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Re: Missile Detector Used To Spot Malaria Signs
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2014, 08:11:28 AM »
Clever, yes, the cross application of this technology to biology. But, what fascinates me in the first place is that we even discovered/created a technology that can detect such a miniscule amount of heat. Pure magic.
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