Kit to spot serious illness early may be just 10 years away

Coloured MRI scans through a human head showing a healthy brain

A home testing kit that spots early signs of disease anywhere in the body could be available within 10 years, according to a leading scientist.

The simple blood test is being developed to allow people to screen themselves for life-threatening diseases, including a variety of cancers and dementias, before they develop any symptoms.

In many cases, a quick diagnosis significantly improves a patient’s chances of recovering from an illness.

The test is expected to be the first major advance to emerge from a new field of biology called “proteomic fingerprinting”, which promises tests that can assess the health of each organ in the body one by one.

“In 10 years’ time, we envisage having a simple test you could do two to three times a year, which uses a prick of blood to check the health of each organ in the body,” said Dr Leroy Hood, who is leading the research at the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle. However, some experts believe the technology will also introduce new ethical issues for GPs and patients.

Source:  Guardian

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