Science Your Dentist Could Soon Use Your Saliva To Diagnose Cancer

Published on October 22nd, 2012 | by Steven Hodson


Your Dentist Could Soon Use Your Saliva To Diagnose Cancer

In a paper published in the Journal of the American Dental Association we get to hear about some promising research from the UCLA’s School of Dentistry that points to the possibility of our saliva being used for a broad range of possible health problems, including cancer.

The research is described by Dr. David Wong as a look into the biological makeup of saliva and what various indicators of our health that might be found there. The premise is that human saliva is made up of molecules and doctors, and dentists, looking in those complex molecules can find everything from proteins to DNA to RNA; and it is with those molecules once identified that researchers can apply scientific tools to them.

The idea of dentists being a diagnostician is proposed because 20% of people apparently see their dentist more than their doctor so something like this when deployed in a dentist’s office could become an effective early way to detect common ailments. While salivary diagnostics might be a relatively young field of research diagnosis through biomarkers isn’t.

The difference, of course, is that it is extremely non-invasive, requiring nothing more than a saliva sample. Wong and associates think saliva could be just as meaningful as blood and other bodily fluids in diagnosing a range of conditions and disorders.

via PopSci



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About the Author

Steven has been around the tech world long enough to see most of the stuff we think of cool happen before which leads to a certain bit of cynicism that has contributed to him being known as the cranky old fart of the Internet. Besides sharing some of the goodness that he finds with you here at 42x you can also find him curating some digital goodness at Winextra (tech type stuff) and Rotten Gumdrops (for your daily dose of WTF).

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