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Google plans to track cancer cells with nanoparticles and a wearable

By Bryan Chan - on 29 Oct 2014, 10:19am

Google plans to track cancer cells with nanoparticles and a wearable

Two cancer cells are pointed out in this image. <br> Source: Center for Genomic Pathology, UC Davis.

Google X, the research and development arm of Google, has announced a project that could potentially help track cancer cells in your blood. This project does so thanks to the use of nanoparticles and a wearable.

Andrew Conrad, Life Sciences Chief, Google X lab, explained that the nanoparticles would be introduced into a patient's bloodstream via a pill. The pill would contain magnetic nanoparticles that would attach to a patient's cells, where they would transmit data, especially that related to the presence of cancerous cells, to a wearable. The wearable will then be able to relay information to a doctor.

Although the benefits of this technology are significant, there are concerns over privacy. With the transmission of data, particularly data regarding a patient's condition, there's a chance that this information could be misused. Conrad however, has assured that Google will not collect or store medical data at all. The responsibility will be outsourced.

The commercial use of this technology however, will unlikely reach us anytime soon. There's still a lot of research to be done, and according to Conrad, this technology will not be ready until at least 2019.

Source: The Wall Street Journal via Gizmodo.