Northumbria University ‘Blood lab’ inside a mobile phone could detect cancer

Plans to design a smart phone app that can detect leukaemia will be among the innovations presented by Northumbria University researchers at the Centre for Life this weekend.


Worawut Srisukkham, a PhD student at Northumbria University, Newcastle, is in the early stages of an ‘e-health technology’ project aimed at developing a mobile phone app that can examine blood sample images and diagnose cancer.

It would work by taking a magnified image of a blood slide via a microscopic lens attached to the smart phone, which the app would then be able to screen for evidence of leukaemia – a blood cancer.

Worawut will present his idea at Maker Faire UK at Newcastle’s Centre for Life on 26 and 27 April. Fellow Northumbria colleagues will also exhibit, including demonstrations of 3D printing, targeted drug delivery and an app that helps research the effect of the Himalayan Balsam plant on British bees.

Northumbria University is a main sponsor of Maker Faire UK. Billed as the greatest show-and-tell on Earth, it is a two-day celebration across the spectrum of science, engineering, art, performance and craft.  A family-friendly gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, hobbyists, engineers, artists and more, the event aims to inspire and enthuse people of all ages.


World's First Success in Visualization of Coenzyme Broadly Related to Vital Activities and Diseases

A Japanese research team led by Dr. Hirokazu Komatsu, a researcher at the International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (MANA: Director: Masakazu Aono) of the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS; President: Sukekatsu Ushioda) in charge of the YAMATO-MANA Program, and Dr. Katsuhiko Ariga, MANA Principal Investigator and Supermolecule Unit Leader, in collaboration with Project Professor Yutaka Shido and Professor Kotaro Oka of the Department of Biosciences and Informatics, Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University (President: Atsushi Seike), succeeded for the first time in the world in developing an imaging method for visualization of nicotine-adenine dinucleotide derivative (NAD(P)H) in a cell, a coenzyme broadly related to vital activity and illness, which had previously been elusive.


Moffitt Cancer Center Begins Phase I Clinical Trial of New Immunotherapy

Moffitt Cancer Center has initiated a phase I clinical trial for a new immunotherapy drug, ID-G305, made by Immune Design. Immunotherapy is a treatment option that uses a person’s own immune system to fight cancer. It has several advantages over standard cancer therapies, including fewer side effects and an overall better tolerability. It tends to be most effective in patients who have smaller, localized tumors that have not spread to distant sites. 


Scientists Grow Cartilage to Reconstruct Nose

Scientists at the University of Basel report first ever successful nose reconstruction surgery using cartilage grown in the laboratory. Cartilage cells were extracted from the patient’s nasal septum, multiplied and expanded onto a collagen membrane. The so-called engineered cartilage was then shaped according to the defect and implanted. The results will be published in the current edition of the academic journal The Lancet.


Regular physical activity reduces breast cancer risk irrespective of age

Practising sport for more than an hour day reduces the risk of contracting breast cancer, and this applies to women of any age and any weight, and also unaffected by geographical location, according to research presented to the 9th European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC 9).

Compared with the least active women, those with the highest level of physical activity reduced their risk of breast cancer by 12%, researchers say.


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