Tag Archive for: University of Missouri

December 2023 Digital Health Roundup

Scientists are being inspired by nature to create technology that helps fight cancer. A butterfly’s ability to see UV light has inspired the creation of new imaging to detect cancer cells. A programmable bacterium is being studied to destroy at least four different types of cancer. Artificial intelligence is making a big impact on the fight against cancer from designing drugs to analyzing large amounts of data to choose the best treatment option. 

New Technology Inspired by Butterflies can Detect Cancer

Butterflies possess a unique ability to recognize a broad range of colors, including those in the light spectrums ultraviolet UV range. The health care field uses UV light techniques extensively such as that used for dermatologic imaging reports Labroots . The challenge in using UV light is that it has quick absorption and attenuation. Scientists based the new UV sensor on the visual ability of the Papilio xuthus butterfly. This sensor uses two ways to detect UV light, a nanocrystal and a photodiode. This UV fluorescence imaging can tell the difference between cancer cells and normal cells with a very high accuracy. Thus far, this technology has been tested on breast cancer cells. Click here for the full story. 

Programmable Bacteria Could Cure Cancer with Single $1 Dose

Texas A&M University (College Station, TX, USA) and the University of Missouri (Colombia, MO, USA) are leading this groundbreaking research and have secured a USD 20 million grant from the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health. Of this funding, USD 12 million is allocated to Texas A&M University for the development of synthetic programmable bacteria designed to enhance the immune system’s ability to target and destroy cancer cells (SPIKES) reports Hospimedica . Scientists are creating a pico-liter-cvolume liquid handling system to analyze individual cells quickly to find the best candidates for this therapy. Brucella Melitenis, a bacteria that can work against four types of cancer is being used. This bacterium can stimulate T-cell anti-tumor immunity. It needs to be programmed to target only the tumor and then self-destruct after the treatment by the patient taking antibiotics. The use of this technology and treatment can make cancer treatment much less expensive and more available for cancer patients. Click here for the full story. 

Is AI the Cancer Fighting Tool We’ve Been Waiting For?

New imaging technology has recently begun to give scientists precise data on the location of proteins inside and around tumors and how they interact with one another. And advances in artificial intelligence are giving them the ability to interpret the reams of data that these new imagers are generating reports Newsweek . AI is also being used to design cancer drugs; the first drug is now in clinical trials. Cancer’s ability to mutate makes it very difficult to treat, real time data at the molecular level is needed to see what the patient’s particular cancer is doing. This technology allows for that data to be collected and analyzed quickly. Artificial intelligence is cataloging and analyzing large amounts of data to assist doctors in choosing effective cancer treatments. This information has led to new developments in how to combat cancer with more effective treatments. Scientists are adapting mobile unit AI labs to be placed at hospitals to better assist doctors in providing personalized therapies for individual patients. In these AI labs, robots do the lab work and collect the data. Click here for the full story.