Google X to Scan Human Body for Inklings of Disease

From GenomeWeb – The Daily Scan (registration required), and PCWorld.

With a new effort combining nanoparticles and a wrist-worn sensor, Google hopes to search through the human body for early signs of disease.

“What we are trying to do is change medicine from reactive and transactional to proactive and preventative,” Andrew Conrad, who is leading the project at Google X, tells the BBC. “Nanoparticles … give you the ability to explore the body at a molecular and cellular level.”

The company is developing iron-oxide particles that can be coated with antibodies so that they recognize and bind to proteins that are, for instance, found on the surfaces of tumor cells, the Wall Street Journal adds. Then as the nanoparticles are magnetically attracted to pass by the sensor, currently envisioned as part of wristband, it would pick up whether or not those nanoparticles have bound to a disease-related protein. The nanoparticles would enter the bloodstream by the user swallowing a pill.

Any product, the Journal says, is likely at least five years off. The nanoparticle-based bloodstream-scanning system would have to overcome technical and regulatory obstacles, as well as address privacy concerns. Additionally, the company would have to work out how to interpret the results it receives from the nanoparticles.

To address that last issue, Conrad’s team at Google X is embarking on a study of healthy people to establish a baseline. “We need to know the healthy levels of these disease-carrying molecules in the blood,” Conrad says, “and we don’t know now.”

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John Macey

I was born, and principally educated, in the fields of biochemistry, and business management in the northeastern USA. However, my world-wide professional career has greatly expanded upon that US base to involve the many different segments of the Biotech / Life Science fields globally. – I have been dressed as a surgeon to view many, many surgical proceedures - The major players in the health care fields that I have worked for include: Johnson & Johnson, DuPont, Abbott Laboratories, and F. Hoffmann-La Roche. – Positions have included selling nuclear materials for both in-vivo & in-vitro (radio-pharmaceutical & radio-immunoassay) medical diagnostic purposes, in the four countries in Scandinavia, based south of Stockholm, to managing Ph. Ds at a global Swiss headquarters location. – At one time I held a position of Strategy Manager for Europe, Middle-East & Africa (EME&A) for a Chicago based company, but living in Germany. – I do speak fluent colloquial German. – In addition to having lived in multiple European countries, my professional career took me to Asia for well over a decade. There I had management control of Oceania, the Pacific Rim, Northern Asia, Japan, out to India. – Occasionally, management assignments have taken me to all of Latin America, and most of South America. – I am extremely culturally aware, a skilled negotiator, and a seasoned manager of men and science. – My one abiding passion has always been computing, data, and analysis. As such, my main computer operating system is Linux, and open-source computer applications. – I do also run Microsoft 7, and Mac OS X (all 3 operating systems on the same H-P Ultrabook). I hope you enjoy your time on the Blog, and should you have any comments / feedback please feel free to email me @, or visit my Linux Web Site @ (always evolving) – John J. Macey – AKA Adler, which in German means Eagle – Wildwood, New Jersey - Together, we can expand your global markets - with our partnerships. The partnerships are global utlizing multiple Law, Regulatory, Seasoned Management, Employment, M&A and buidlers of Business. Contact use.