Smartphones and DNA
Technology has come so far. In today’s world, it seems almost nothing is impossible. Especially when it comes to technology related to smartphones. Advances are made in almost every facet you could imagine. But to the extent of measuring your DNA?
DNA stands for “deoxyribonucleic acid” and is something that is unique to every individual. This self-replicating material is present and virtually all living things. It is the main constituent of chromosomes which is the carrier of genetic information.
It seems there is no end to progress and especially in the area of cell phones. We have developed so many things in the cell phone industry, we might as well create features and attachments for scientists.
New Microscope Works with Your Cell Phone
Aydogan Ozcan of the University of California along with some of his colleagues have created a smartphone attachment. The device can actually estimate the lengths of DNA molecules within a sample. This was confirmed by a study the was published recently. This makes the device useful as a potential tool for diagnostic tests in the field.
The way it works is that the unit reveals copy-number variations and various other genetic aspects of disease. This unit costs only about $400 and weighs less than 7 ounces. It runs on AAA batteries, so it is very portable and makes a perfect addition for scientific work in the field.
The microscope uses a camera that detects fluorescent products of DNA sequence reactions in tissues and cells. This has applications in early cancer detection, especially colon cancer which is the third leading cause of cancer deaths for both men and women. Early detection is the key to overcoming the disease and a main reason why this new device is such a breakthrough.
Development and Benefits
This technology provides a major benefit. It allows for diagnostics to be performed outside of the traditional hospital or lab setting. By expanding the breadth of usage to more settings and becoming more available to people everywhere, various cancers might be detected earlier providing a better chance of healing. It will also allow societies without the benefit of major hospitals and labs to perform accurate diagnostics in the field.
There are many places in the world that are in need of these strategies and tools that allow for the quick and efficient diagnosis of infections diseases. Other organizations are taking this technology a step further and looking for even more ways to use smartphone microscopes. There are many more applications being researched today to bring more tools to every part of the world. These far-away places are often the most in need of the help.