Google Files Patent For A Wearable Cancer Detection And Treatment Technology

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Last October, Google unveiled a new X lab project focused on developing a smartpill filled with nanosensors that were programmed to detect cancer in the bloodstream and then relay a warning signal to a tracker that the user would wear around their wrist. The system, Google said at the time, was nearly ready for human testing and would be available for commercial applications within 10 years. Now new evidence has come to light that suggests Google is doing much more with its wearable cancer-detection project than it had initially presented.

Last week, Google quietly secured a patent for a wearable device that not only detects cancerous cells in the blood stream, but that also detects other harmful enzymes, proteins, and cells. Pushing things one step deeper into the realm of science fiction, the new technology is also said to be able to attack these harmful cells when they are detected. An excerpt from the patent explains, “energy is generated by a wearable device” and then directed at a target cell, which “allows the targets to be selectively modified or destroyed by energy from outside the body such that the adverse health effects are reduced or eliminated.”

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The implications of such a discovery would naturally be staggering. In the patent itself, Google lists several use cases which include “selectively targeting and then modifying or destroying the cancer cells” and targeting certain proteins known to cause Parkinson’s disease. One question that remains unanswered is whether the cancer detection project being run in the Google X labs, and the technology being described in its new patent are two separate projects, or one consolidated effort to develop a wearable device capable of both screening for and suppressing cancer growth in humans.

Google has not yet commented on the new patent, though since the patent was discovered it has seen a significant amount of coverage from the tech media. Google owns plenty of patents that it never managed to turn into a marketable finished product, and this may end up being just that. Typically, Google does not publically unveil a research product until it is in its final stages of development and is nearly ready for human trials. Until Google executives are ready to unveil the project publically nothing concrete can be known.

Interestingly, Google Ventures president Bill Maris was just interviewed by Bloomberg last week, during which he proclaimed, “If you ask me today, is it possible to live to be 500? The answer is yes,” so maybe he knows something the rest of us don’t yet. Only time will tell.


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