Have you ever imagined a biological lab in space (doesn’t matter big or or small) that will test cancer and other diseases? I’m sure, you haven’t. But now, it’s not time to imagine; rather it’s time believe. Civilian space agency NASA has decided to launch a mini lab at the International Space Station (ISS) which will diagnose medical conditions in space. This will be the world’s first “mini lab” in space.
National Optics Institute External of Quebec City, Canada, has made a device called Microflow. The toaster box alike device can instantly (within 10 minutes) detect “everything from infections, to stress, blood cells, cancer markers,” and even the quality of food. And, it weighs only 20 pounds.
The astronauts, cosmonauts, scientists whoever goes to space, if gets sick, then he/she can’t get any medical treatment (trust me, there is no medical facility in space yet). That’s when Microflow comes into play. It is a miniaturized version of a “flow cytometer.” It uses lasers and sensors to count cells, sort them and detect all kinds of biomarkers in liquid like blood.
On Earth, the device is able to reduce the cost of instant cancer diagnosis and infections diagnosis. However, NASA is preparing to send this device to ISS whereas it’ll monitor the astronauts and cosmonauts under close medical control if he/she becomes sick/weak anyhow at space. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield will take Microflow to ISS. He’ll stay there for six months. Within six months, the device will monitor and diagnose the ISS crew. NASA has mentioned that the device Microflow will work in real time and will give out results in just ten minutes.
If Microflow achieves success, no doubt the device will visit the space all time along with astronauts whenever they go on a mission.