Breathalyzer for disease, probably won’t result in a ticket if you’re infected

Feb 18, 2008

The scientists at NIST have come up with a new breathalyzer that could be used to detect if you have certain diseases. The long of it is calling it the “cavity-enhanced direct optical frequency comb spectroscopy” I like breathalyzer for disease better though.

Judging from the diagram, it looks like even if they come up with one of these for actual use, it could be a long time before we see them mass produced due largely to the apparent size of the components required. Chances are also good it won’t be cheap, so even if they figure out a way to quickly and efficiently mass produce them, they’ll cost a small fortune.

God knows how reliable such a device would be too, but at the very least it could be used as a quick analysis giving doctors a list of things to check for that could potentially be the cause of the patient’s symptoms. On the flip side though, something like this could make doctors complacent and less likely to find the things that this gadget doesn’t pick up.

[via therawfeed]

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