from the Negative-never-felt-so-good dept.
"A paper strip can sample urine for signs of tumors in the body. The cancer-detecting strip could one day make it simpler and more affordable to detect some cancers at an early stage. Unlike communicable infections like HIV and tuberculosis, signals from tumor proteins are difficult to detect. To get around that problem, the researchers created nano-scale biomarkers that can be injected into the bloodstream. Each marker is designed to interact with specific proteins that are produced by cancer cells. When the two meet, the proteins snip off tiny fragments of the marker. Those fragments eventually find their way into the urine. The test works like a pregnancy test; a person urinates on a paper strip coated with antibodies that can detect the marker fragments. If the fragments are present, the paper displays a line indicating the presence of cancer tissue in the body. Altogether, the process takes about an hour."
[ED Note: Link is to an abstract. PDF with more detailed info here.]