No, this is not a joke. Researchers at McMaster University in the Canadian city of Hamilton, Ontario are currently developing a new, non-invasive way to detect colon cancer in the early stages. Their proposed test just happens to involve glowing poop.
Biochemist Dr. Yingfu Li and gastroenterologist Dr. Bruno Salena are developing the test under a grant from the Canadian Cancer Society, and they say their test will be an innovative, life-saving way to detect cancer.
Colon cancer is one of the leading causes of death the world over, but it’s 90 percent treatable when detected early on. There are two at-home tests to detect the cancer currently, but they’re prone to false positives that make them unreliable. This test could help more people detect colon cancer before it advances without having to undergo a procedure or cat scan to find it.
Currently, researchers are amassing a pool of DNA sequences, trying to create one that would produce glowing feces in people with colon cancer. If the research proves successful, the detection tool could be used as a cheap and effective test for cancer.
“I find it very exciting as a clinician,” Salena said. “If we can produce a simple, cost-effective test here, the costs for a population are much less all around.”
For more information on the research, visit CBC Canada for the full article.