New technologies at work for asthma and diabetes

With the invention of a nanosensor that measures nitric oxide in the breath, a new race may have begun to help those who suffer from asthma. Just as researchers are constantly searching for less invasive ways for diabetics to test their blood glucose levels, now this nitric oxide nanosensor is the first on-the-street way to predict–and possibly prevent–a serious asthma attack.

Since levels of NO rise as airways become more inflamed, asthmatics can be alerted as early as three weeks ahead of a possible impending episode and thus adjust their inhaled and other medications to ward off the attack.

With diabetes, glucose monitoring is critical and about 25 types of meters are currently available for home testing. So far, researchers haven’t managed to get FDA approval on a non-invasive glucose testing device, though a few have been invented and developed using infrared technology. Earlier this year a cell-phone-sized glucose sensing device walked off with all kinds of awards at the International Exhibition of Inventions, New Techniques and Products.

Just as we’ve now found stem cells can perform “miraculous” regrowth of human tissue (remember those high school biology days when we all thought the planarium worm was the only creature that could grow its parts back?), now we are discovering other ways to help human beings without hurting, cutting, bleeding, and traumatizing them with our cures. Looks to me like we’ll just keep finding more of this good news every day.

What a time to be alive.