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Research Team Develops iPhone-Powered Lab; Detects Cancer At 99%

October 24
6:00 AM 2016

While Apple's ambitious plans for its iPhone and Apple Watch in playing in the health industry has always been an open book to the public, it seems to appear the it is not the only company who is finding ways to make smartphones fit into the field of medicine.

Just recently, a research team from Washington State University headed by Assistant Professor Lei Li, created a portable laboratory controlled by a smartphone. However, the more exciting thing about it is that, said laboratory could detect cancer cells in an instant.

As publicized on the website of Washington State University, the newly-innovated laboratory is able to analyze up to eight different samples at a time, giving it an exceptional accuracy.

According to Li, the portable laboratory can detect a biomarker for lung, prostate, liver, breast and epithelial cancers knows as the human interleukin-6 (IL-6). It works with a spectrometer which analyzes the amount and type of chemicals in a sample through measuring the spectrum of the light.

This spectrometer, once operational, could create a huge effect on the detection of cancer as well as research around the world. Aside from being useful at hospitals and medical centers in the United States, said laboratory is manageable enough that it can be transported around the world in areas where cancer detection has been a huge dilemma.

Li, who has filed a provisional patent for the said portable laboratory, said "With our eight channel spectrometer, we can put eight different samples to do the same test, or one sample in eight different wells to do eight different tests. This increases our device's efficiency."

"The spectrometer would be especially useful in clinics and hospitals that have a large number of samples without on-site labs, or for doctors who practice abroad or in remote areas," Li furthered. "They can't carry a whole lab with them. They need a portable and efficient device."

Li has already tested this design with an iPhone 5. Nevertheless, the said professor is working currently on an adjustable version that will work with any smartphone.

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