To treat symptoms of the common cold, most people take a gel capsule containing hundreds of granular pieces of medicine as a remedy for coughing, sneezing and a runny nose. Now, imagine ingesting a capsule of similar size, containing microscopic sensors to detect, diagnose and treat disease inside the human body.
It sounds like science fiction. However, NASA, in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), is working to turn this vision into "science fact." To mark the unique partnership, NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin and National Cancer Institute (NCI) Director Dr. Richard Klausner will sign a Memorandum of Understanding to develop new biomedical technologies that can detect, diagnose and treat disease here on Earth and in space. The development of such technologies will improve life on Earth and one day revolutionize medicine and space travel.
The signing will begin at 1 p.m. EDT on April 13, in Room SD-138 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC. Goldin and Klausner will discuss their visions of bio-molecular technologies and present video concepts of such future technology.
Media representatives are invited to attend the signing and should contact Renee Juhans at (202) 358-1712, by COB April 11, to confirm attendance.
The joint collaboration comes as NASA and NCI each move forward with historic initiatives requiring major advances in available technology. NCI is attempting to define cancer for the first time based on the unique molecular characteristics of tumors. NASA is seeking to develop a new form of patient care -- "microscopic explorers" -- that would travel through the human body looking for disease. This technology will allow NASA to monitor astronaut health and treat conditions in space, where medical test capabilities and communication with Earth will be limited.
Additional information on NASA and NCI technology programs can be found on the Internet at: http://search.nci.nih.gov/search.nci.nih.gov/s97is.vts http://www.sverdrup.com/nasa/sensors.html
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