Google Working on Pill To Detect Cancer

Scouring the Internet for information has always been GoogleEUs core competency. Now, the search giant is pointing its algorithms at a new target: your body. The company is developing a pill covered in nanoparticles that, when ingested, will search the body for illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.

The potential invention is the latest from Google X, the companyEUs advanced projects division responsible for Google Glass and Project Loon, a system for delivering Internet connectivity through a network of balloons. The company said it plans to license the technology to other companies rather than commercialize the tech itself, and it would not manage any of the information collected by the nanoparticles.

Tricorder in a Pill

Andrew Conrad, head of Google XEUs Life Sciences Team, described the idea behind the pill as similar to sending thousands of doctors to a city to monitor the health of individuals, whereas current techniques are more akin to having a single doctor diagnose people from a ten thousand foot vantage point.

Conrad told Medium that Google X is aiming to build a real version of the Tricorder, a handheld scanning device that was featured in Star Trek. The medical version of the fictional Tricorder was used by doctors to help diagnose diseases and collect bodily information about a patient.

The pill, which Google is calling the EUnanoparticle platform," would be coated in a variety of molecules and antibodies that could detect the presence of other kinds of molecules, and transmit information to a central system. The nanoparticles would also be magnetized, allowing them to be directed to specific parts of the body through the use of magnets that could be worn or placed on the patient. Each particle would be less than .01 percent the size of a red blood cell, allowing them...

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