E‘Magnetic’ bacteria in food can diagnose cancer

Imagine ‘magnetic’ bacteria that, as part of your food, can help diagnose digestive diseases like stom-ach cancer.Scientists from University of Granada in Spain have successfully incorporated magnetic parti-cles into probiotic bacteria like those found in many foodstuffs.These magnetic bacteria, after ingestion, help di-agnose diseases of the digestive system like stom-ach cancer.To design these magnetic bacteria, the research-ers tried to copy ‘magnetobacteria’ that naturally produce very limited numbers of internal mag-nets.This essentially provides them with a means of orienting themselves as if they possessed an in-ternal compass.“These artificial magnetic bacteria could have biomedical applications in magnetic resonance imaging – to facilitate diagnosis – or in heating malign cells through magnetic hypothermia and, thus, curing diseases like cancer,” researchers noted.The researchers – members of Bionanomet, the Metallic Bionanoparticle research group of the Department of Inorganic Chemistry and the Insti-tute of Biotechnology of the University of Grana-da – have conducted this research in collaboration with BIOSEARCH SA, a private company.This new technology will facilitate the use of these probiotic bacteria, common in food, to diagnose and treat tumours and as an edible iron supplement, said the report published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.