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Science:probiotics Can Detect Physiological Abnormalities In The Body
- May 26, 2018 -

A study by renowned Chinese scholar Timothy Lun was published today in the top academic journal Science. The man, who recently appeared in cell magazine cool techs, played a new game in this issue of Science when the team transformed probiotics into "doctor's bacteria" to detect physiological abnormalities in the body.

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    In the past decade or so synthetic biologists have transformed bacteria like biohackers. Some bacteria, for example, perceive certain signals in the environment and announce their discovery with light.

This cool technology has a bright future in medicine. Take digestive tract disease, for example, the most common way to determine whether a patient has internal bleeding is through endoscopy. But this often requires the patient to enter the anaesthesia state, is not very convenient. If you can allow bacteria to detect bleeding in the body, will no doubt greatly simplify the whole detection process.

But there are two technical bottlenecks. First, it is obviously unrealistic to have patients swallow large quantities of bacteria; second, even if they enter the body, they cannot communicate with the outside world.

To overcome these two bottlenecks , researchers decided to create a " bacterial pill " that could safely deliver bacteria into the body   to detect abnormalities , as well as real - time feedback to humans.

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This sounds like a science-fiction scene that has become a reality for MIT scientists. They put probiotics on a sensor and wrapped them in a semi-permeable membrane through which small molecules in the environment could reach bacteria that would not be digested by stomach acid. Bacteria are designed to glow if they detect intestinal bleeding.

At the same time, the researchers designed the sensor to assess the intensity of light produced by bacteria and send data to the body via wireless signals. As long as you have a smartphone, you can access the data.

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"with the combination of biosensors and low-power wireless electronic devices, we can detect biological signals in vivo almost in real time, leading to new human health applications." Said Professor Lu.

In an experiment in mammals, the potential of this technique was tested. They first injected blood into pigs and then gave them bacteriological pills. Studies have shown that these bacteria can clearly distinguish whether the stomach is blood or as a control buffer.

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"the focus of this study is to integrate bacterial detection capabilities with low-energy circuit systems to achieve important health tests," added Professor Anantha Chandrakasan, director of the MIT School of Engineering and co-author of the study.

The researchers believe the tool has unlimited potential in the future. By modifying the bacteria, we can detect different disease signals. For example, bacteria that detect Crohn's disease and gastrointestinal infections have been developed and are about to enter the experimental stage. In addition, by increasing the number of bacteria, we can even detect multiple signals at once.

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Perhaps in the future, the physical examination will only need to swallow a pill, your physiological indicators will emerge on the phone. We look forward to this sci-fi scene coming true soon!


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