The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Crystal Ball

Cancer bio-sensor

Researchers led by scientists at the University of Newcastle are developing a tiny biosensor to detect cancer. They have manufactured discs less than one-tenth of a millimetre in diameter and coated them with special patterns of DNA or proteins which cause the cancer-specific markers to bind to the surface. They are incorporating these discs into a hand-held device for a quick and easy analysis of tissue samples. The device would work by identifying cancer markers ' proteins or other molecules produced by different types of cancer cells. This will enable doctors to diagnose and monitor common types of cancer, and assess which is the most appropriate therapy.

Instant checkout

FamilyMart convenience store in Tokyo is going to introduce an automatic checkout counter that scans shopping baskets instantly. While a shopper places the basket on the counter, the system scans the prices in one second without the sales clerk having to scan each item. The trial-run will take place from January 30, using special tags on 500 kinds of goods and electronic money, reports AFP. Including the time for procedures such as putting the goods in a bag, it takes less than 10 seconds to leave the counter, a spokesman said.

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