Google and the Department of Defense are building an AI-powered microscope to help doctors spot cancer
The AI-powered tool is called an Augmented Reality Microscope, or ARM, and Google and the Department of Defense have been quietly working on it for years.
How can genetically-engineered bacteria detect cancer cells?
Transcript: Pickpockets are rampant in just about every community. And the microscopic world is no different — because wherever and whenever there’s something of value, there’s a skilled thief ready to make the snatch. But who’s the top thief in town? Meet the bacterium Acinetobacter baylyi. A. baylyi is notorious for finding and stealing DNA from its environment through a nifty skill called natural competence. This allows for horizontal gene transfer, so that A. baylyi can integrate cell-free DNA into its own genome to produce new proteins to help it grow and survive. But, could we perhaps employ this skillset, for good? For instance, could *A. baylyi* be coerced, into finding and stealing mutated DNA from cancer? That’s what our international research team sought to find out. We engineered A. baylyi to find and steal DNA, specifically the mutated KRAS gene, which helps colorectal cancers grow. We termed this new bioassay “CATCH”, to collect and characterise cell-free DNA. If A. baylyi found any tumour DNA, it would then turn on a linked antibiotic resistance gene. This tells us that the CATCH was successful and that cancerous tissue was found! But what does this mean for the real world? This technique, of life detecting life, shows how engineered bacteria could be designed to detect specific DNA sequences, to diagnose and even treat disease in hard-to-reach places like, but not limited to, the colon. Indeed, even rogue pickpockets deserve a second chance. To learn more, visit catch.contact, and CATCH our team with your questions today!