Home Science Surgically-Altered Locusts Could Detect Cancer In Humans

Surgically-Altered Locusts Could Detect Cancer In Humans

Credit: Christel SAGNIEZ from Pixabay

According to new research, locusts that have been surgically altered and implanted with electrodes can be used in the research to check for cancer. Each insect’s antennae will be picked up by these electrodes. Analyzing scent is a primary function of a locust’s antennae.

How would it work?

In order to collect the gases released by the tissues of the three distinct kinds of malignant human oral cells that they also cultured, the researchers developed an apparatus. By sniffing the gases, they discovered that each tissue type had a distinct response in their brains, and they could detect ill cells using just the recordings of the chemicals.

At this point in time, there is no way of knowing whether the FDA or other regulatory bodies would allow this treatment since the research has not yet been peer-reviewed.

It’s also worth noting that the insect’s bodily functions have been halted, and the researchers have solely maintained the insect’s brain’s life.

Despite the uncertainty around the research, the team intends to go on. At the moment, their system runs on between six and ten locust brains. A single locust brain should be enough for one screening with the help of the new electrodes, the researchers believe.

They also want to make the brain and antennae-carrying gadget portable. This will allow the team to utilize the technology outside of a lab.

In spite of the fact that this system seems to be a major advancement in the field of medicine, it does not come without flaws. Researchers only found cancer cells in the mouth, which humans can readily identify and treat.

Nevertheless, cancer is not the only disease that affects humans. There are several examples of diseases that may be diagnosed and treated based on their appearances, such as skin cancer, lung cancer, and breast cancer. That would render the system a lot less helpful in identifying other sorts of malignancies, but could be very useful for detecting cancer in the mouth.

This technique is unlikely to be approved by the FDA. In any event, the scientists are still hopeful about their work and want to go on with it.