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Doctors Can Now Use Magnets To Sift Bacteria From Blood

synthetic-bloodHave you ever done those scientific experiments in school where you pour metal filings around an object, and when you place a magnet next to it, the filings get separated from wherever it was? Wouldn’t that be useful if you could do that to the human body, where you can easily separate Bacteria from blood just like that?

Turns out you can. In a joint research effort between Harvard University, the Empa research group, and Adolphe Merkle Institute, it seems that scientists have figured out a way in which they can separate bacteria from the blood of a patient using a magnet. Now of course bacteria isn’t made from metal, so what doctors need to do is coat antibodies with iron particles, so when the antibodies bind to the bacteria, the magnets can just suck it out.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? However it seems that there is an issue with this method, and that this method is only good if the antibodies are treating one particular problem as they are purpose-built. This means that if you have multiple species of bacteria that is infecting you, then you will need a few rounds of treatment to get it cleared.

However the good news is that the researchers at Harvard are close on creating a one-size-fits-all synthetic antibody that will work for most bacteria strains. It hasn’t been approved for humans yet, but apparently it is promising.

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