A team of international researchers recently unveiled a nano array that can identify the chemical signatures of 17 different diseases, possibly bringing us closer to the day when doctors might be able to use a medical tricorder a la Star Trek to instantly diagnose a patient’s conditions.
Though it isn’t exactly a new idea – Hippocrates wrote about the correlation between breath odors and disease back in 400 B.C. and traditional Chinese medicine has long seen halitosis as an indication of an unbalanced qi – using breath tests to diagnose and monitor bodily disorders and disease is a research field that has been gaining momentum in recent years. And for good reason too. It would be the ultimate diagnostic test – potentially inexpensive and painless (not to mention a godsend for anyone with a fear of needles), and it would be able to deliver results fairly quickly too.