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Harvard Detects Cancer at Bedside With $200 Hand-Held Device

A hand-held scanner that can detect cancer at a patient’s bedside using just a speck of tissue has been created by scientists from Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The device, about the size of a desk telephone, is the world’s smallest cancer diagnostic system, according to the scientists. Described today in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the system uses antibodies and magnetic particles to seek out and flag cancer in cells, which are extracted with a needle, rather than large amounts of surgically removed tissue, researchers said.