We posted on gold’s medicinal value last week, well here’s another one, and in this use, “time is of the essence”…
Last week we brought up gold’s use in cancer treatment.
Well, it turns out that gold is finding even more uses in the medical industry. Today, we talk about another important part of healthcare – Detection.
Currently, testing for Zika virus requires a blood sample, refrigeration of the sample, and laboratory diagnostics. This is all about to change with what researchers from Washington University School of Medicine are developing.
From Science Daily:
Currently, testing for Zika requires that a blood sample be refrigerated and shipped to a medical center or laboratory, delaying diagnosis and possible treatment. Although the new proof-of-concept technology has yet to be produced for use in medical situations, the test’s results can be determined in minutes. Further, the materials required for the test do not require refrigeration and may be applicable in testing for other emerging infectious diseases.
Among the reasons such a test is needed, according to the researchers, is that many people infected with Zika don’t know they’re infected. Although symptoms include fever, joint pain, muscle pain and rash, many people don’t feel ill after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Testing is particularly important for pregnant women because Zika infection can cause congenital Zika syndrome, which contributes to several neurologic problems in the fetus or newborn infant.
That strategy requires inexpensive, easy-to-use and easy-to-transport tests. Kharasch, the Russell D. and Mary B. Shelden Professor of Anesthesiology, collaborated with Srikanth Singamaneni, PhD, an associate professor of mechanical engineering & materials science, and Jeremiah J. Morrissey, PhD, a research professor of anesthesiology, to create the test, which uses gold nanorods mounted on paper to detect Zika infection within a few minutes.
This type of medical testing is not just a breakthrough in the time needed to detect and ability to administer treatment earlier, but interestingly, Sience Daily is reporting that the cost for the gold in the tests is miniscule:
Although the test uses gold, the nanorods are very small. The researchers estimate that the cost of the gold used in one of the assays would be 10 to 15 cents.
As other infectious diseases emerge around the world, similar strategies potentially could be used to develop tests to detect the presence of viruses that may become problematic, according to the researchers.
Since this type of medical testing requires no refrigeration and the results can be determined in minutes, this can be very useful in remote areas or in field hospitals where medical equipment and capabilities are less than ideal.
At this point, however, we wonder if the researchers realize just how much paper gold they have to bomb COMEX with just to keep that price to pennies on the dollar?
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