Intel and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre are applying technology previously used to help build silicon chips in an attempt to come up with an early detection method to help prevent cancer.

The chipmaker is building an Intel Ramen Bioanalyzer System at the research centre in Seattle, to help it create images that will reveal the chemical structure of molecules in tiny medical samples, such as blood serum, according to Andrew Berlin, the lead researcher on the program.

The Bioanalyzer works by beaming laser onto the samples to allow the study of their molecular structures. It was developed by Intel to help it find microscopic flaws on silicon chips.

"Biologists have never before had such a method for studying the molecular structure of biology ? It may lead to a new era of molecular diagnostics and improved methods of early disease detection," explained Dr. Lee Hartwell, president of the research centre.

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre
Intel