Early detection of serious diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, infections, etc. is good; also there are more chances that disease can be controlled easily by medication or exercise and diet. Thanks to the current science world for providing us with such an advanced, a non-invasive and sensitive technology of “breathalyzer,” which is firmly designated for early detection of the disease. Usually, Disease diagnosis is based on two independent tests – Exhaled breath (cavity ring-down spectroscopy) and Blood serum (nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy). But experts recommend the breath-based method more as it is non-invasive and more sensitive than the blood-based assays.
The body uses different sources to create energy under the different conditions, for instance in healthy and normal condition, it uses the food that we eat for getting energy but when we are sick, the immune system takes over the body and starts tearing apart proteins to make antibodies for getting energy source. Later on, this shifting of sugars to proteins engages different biochemical pathways in the body and this result in clear changes in the carbon isotopes that appear in our exhaled carbon dioxide. Researchers, who work on the new technology, are relying on these changes which take place only when the body is in sick condition to signal the earliest stage of disease.
The researchers looked at mice for their study; they observed the carbon isotopes containing metabolic byproducts in the blood or breath of mice. In order to trace the metabolic pathways that were most active in sick and healthy mice, the researchers could successfully measure changes in the ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-13 in the carbon dioxide exhaled by the mice. Moreover, the technology shows different pattern of these ratios for different diseases in blood or breath, which can be very useful to detect wide range of diseases also. Thus, you can monitor the functionality of the entire body with a single measure.
Currently, the technology is under development at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and expected to be available with the shoebox size machine, but the researchers will try to make it small and easily portable. It is not limited to diagnosis only, but offers a potential and fast feedback of treatments efficacy.