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Can Laser and AI-Powered Breathalyzers Detect COVID-19 or Cancer?

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Did you know that the breath we exhale contains more than a thousand distinct molecules with a unique chemical fingerprint that can contain clues about the state of things inside our bodies? That’s why medical scientists have been trying to use dogs, rats, and even bees to detect signs of diseases like cancer, tuberculosis, and others.

However, the recent advancements in breathalyzer technology are proving to be one of the most effective ways to analyze the chemical composition of our breath and deduce the presence of any diseases. The combined application of laser processing solutions and AI technology to breathalyzers has substantially improved their efficacy in detecting the presence of diseases.

Laser-Powered Breath Analyzers: A Closer Look

Laser-based breath analyzers use laser beams to interact with the molecules in a person’s exhaled breath. This interaction results in the absorption or scattering of specific wavelengths of light, which can be analyzed to identify and quantify the presence of various gases and their concentrations. Techniques like Tunable Diode Laser Absorption Spectroscopy (TDLAS) or Cavity-Enhanced Absorption Spectroscopy (CEAS) help achieve desired results.

Laser processing solutions are employed to develop highly sensitive and specific sensors. According to Novanta Photonics, a laser and beam steering solution can be used to overcome complex challenges for delicate applications. High-throughput imaging systems can use ultrafast laser processing to deliver solutions for complex cell-based imaging.   

These sensors can detect trace amounts of gases or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the breath, making them invaluable for medical diagnosis (e.g., detecting biomarkers for diseases like diabetes or cancer) and alcohol breath testing.

The Integration of AI

Last April, a collaboration between teams from CU Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) called JILA achieved a significant breakthrough in the field of diagnosing diseases from our breath. They reported that they have developed a new breathalyzer powered by laser-based technology, quantum technology, and AI to detect COVID-19 quite accurately. 

In the results published in the Journal of Breath Research, Qizhong Liang, a Ph.D. candidate in JILA, highlighted that this breath analysis technology could be a non-invasive test alternative to detecting COVID-19 and other diseases. The results are quick and accurate and can be derived from diverse conditions. 

The team of physicists, biochemists, and biologists are trying to revolutionize the same technology to detect the presence of a wide range of diseases, including cancer. Jun Ye, a member of JILA and a physics professor, says that a patient can go to the doctor in the future, blow into a mouthpiece connected to a smartphone, and get information about their health immediately.

An Alliance To Fight COVID-19

Jun Ye’s lab reported developing ‘frequency comb spectroscopy’ technology that won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2005. The technology uses ultrafast laser processing to distinguish between molecules in 20028. 

Even back then, this technology had the potential to identify the presence of disease biomarkers in human breath. However, the technology was not tested to diagnose illnesses due to the lack of sensitivity and the inability to link specific molecules to diseases.

Since then, the sensitiveness has been improved by using AI to detect molecule traces at the parts per trillion level. They have noticed an increase or decrease in the concentration of certain molecules that can be associated with certain health conditions. Machine learning technology can be used to analyze this information and identify patterns to generate an accurate diagnostic prediction.

The technology progressed significantly during the spread of SARS-CoV-2 when Ye enlisted the help of CU’s BioFrontiers Institute. BioFrontiers Institute is an interdisciplinary hub for biomedical research and was heading the on-campus testing program for COVID-19. 

The collaboration was primarily established to develop faster alternatives to the existing testing methods for COVID-19 that had a long response time. But they also knew that the technology had an immense potential beyond COVID. 

A Quick, Chemical Free, and Non-Invasive Test

The research team analyzed the breath samples of 170 students of CU Boulder who had taken a PCR test in the last 48 hours through nasal or saliva samples. Half of the samples generated a positive result, while the other half generated negative results. The entire process of collecting samples and generating results was completed within an hour.

The breathalyzer results were compared with PCR, which was the best COVID test available at the time, and the results analyzed by the breathalyzers matched the PCR results 85% of the time. For reference, any accuracy beyond 80% is considered excellent in the field of medical diagnostics. Needless to say, the team was quite happy with the accuracy of the results, especially given the time it took to analyze and generate the results.

A breathalyzer test is completely non-invasive, unlike a nasal swab test. The test also does not require the use of expensive chemicals and can even be administered to unconscious patients. 

The Current Challenges

The technology still has a long way to go before it can be implemented for practical use. At the moment, the team can only understand how some molecules can be correlated to specific conditions. Also, if you were imagining a small breathalyzer like I was when reading the article, you’d be surprised. The breathalyzer being discussed is approximately the size of a large table and consists of a complex array of various components. 

The scientists pass the blood sample through a tube as an ultrafast laser processing solution fires mid-infrared beams of light at a thousand different frequencies. Each laser beam is bounced back and forth between dozens of tiny mirrors so many times that the light beam ends up traveling approximately 1.5 miles. 

Since each molecule absorbs light in a different way, breath samples composed of varied molecular compositions cast distinguishable shadows. The AI-based algorithm analyzes the different shadows on absorption patterns and the resulting millions of data points to generate a simple negative or positive COVID test result in a matter of seconds. 

The team is trying to miniaturize the entire system to a portable size that can also be used for self-health monitoring to generate immediate results. Team members are also working with Respiratory specialists at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus on how laser-powered breathalyzers can be used to diagnose as well as understand more about diseases. 

They are hoping to uncover signs of Immune responses, nutritional deficiencies, and other aspects that can aggravate or reduce diseases and their symptoms. Elsewhere, other bioscientists are trying to develop an atlas that contains maps of how each molecule in our breath can be correlated with health conditions. 

While the technology is far from everyday use, the use of laser and AI-powered breathalyzers to detect diseases is an immense breakthrough in the field of medical sciences. I’m sure we will soon have access to portable breathalyzers That can be used to monitor our health issues in real time or even before the first symptoms occur.



Art

A Weekend In The Hamptons With Holistic Health Fair, Store Opening, Oyster Farms and Art Party

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Every weekend in The Hampton’s it’s not what to do, but which to do. We decided to join Cristina G Cuomo’ s Purist for its third annual health fair in Southampton and experience the best in wellness. From top concierge practitioners of Eastern and Western modalities, to clean beauty, sustainability and nutrition, this was one terrific event to attend.

This year’s participants included: Boiron, Ecotone New York, Flyte, Bellantz, Cancer Culture, Rejuvenation Health, reactIVate, STANDwellness, Boxed Water, Biography, Post House, Cocoon and Hive, Mrs Momma Bear Workwear, Juice Press, evolvetogether, Figaro Apothecary, Hamptons Aromatherapy, Tahuu Chocolates, Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Filienna Filigree Jewelry, Rev. Jolene Star and the Enchanted Heart, The Erickson Method, bySILKE, Dr. Lea Lis, and  Happy Coffee by Robert Downey Jr. 

One of our favorite things was flyte. I have been wanting to create a floating Orgone and this just may be part of my answer. They also had a bed that vibrated to music and heals, that was highly effective.

I also loved the infra red light therapy by STANDwellness, the energizing clothing by Cocoon and Hive, CBD Chocolates by Tahuu Chocolates. The crystals and healing modality by Rev. Jolene Star and the Enchanted Heart and the amazing massage by Linda. Thank-you as my shoulder was really in pain.

Next onto BIBA’s store opening with Ilene looking fabulous, with the store’s manager. BIBA, has returned to the East End to showcase its collections, featuring an eclectic melange of clothing from both local and European designers. During the years of 1995 to 2010, BIBA held locations in East Hampton and Southampton Village, and has continued to serve customers in South Florida, with a Delray Beach location, ever since. Now open in Southampton Village, BIBA is frequented by celebrities, visitors, and locals alike, and aims to bring a VIP shopping experience to all. Snowbirds can rejoice knowing the store will have locations in both Southampton and South Florida.

John Nicolas, of Mudford Farms in East Hampton Shuckers, grows oysters and populates the waters to clean and make a healthier water and a healthier dish by filtering the water in the biggest way he knows how. Currently incubating about 1 million oysters in this facility alone.


Finally Rick Friedman and his wife is Cindy Lou through a fabulous art party with fireworks, a band and of course art.

All photo’s by Roger Sichel

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The Ellen Hermanson Foundation Raising Money For Breast Cancer

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The Ellen Hermanson Foundation hosted their Summer Gala 2024 fundraising event, on Saturday, July 13th, from 6:30PM-11:30PM at Bridgehampton Tennis & Surf Club in Bridgehampton, NY. Oceanside cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the deck, dinner, dancing and an auction, with an after-party with a beach bonfire and s’mores followed. The gala raised over $350,000

The Foundation honor Dr. Fredric Weinbaum, medical doctor extraordinaire and former Chief Administrative Officer/COO of Stony Brook Southampton Hospital and The Honorable Rebecca A. Seawright, Member of the New York State Assembly whose 3-D screening bill signed into law expands access to cancer screenings without cost sharing, to include 3-D Mammagraphy. These are two brilliant people who have done so much to make our community a healthier place.

Jean Shafiroff, noted philanthropist and author, is the Gala Chair, along with the Young Professional Committee, Host Committee and The Board of Directors.

Notable guests were Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Martin Shafiroff, Kenneth Fishel, Ann Cirdullo, Lucas Hunt, Jane Scher, Gayle Brophy, Keith and Carol Grupman, Victoria Schneps, Alexandrea LaFata, Mady Schuman, Monty Farber, Amy Zerner, Allison Silver, Julie Feldman, Rakesh Nigam, Elizabeth Dew, Scott, Lori, and Justin Levine, Paulina Berse, Julia Haart, Rakesh Nigam, Elizabeth Dew, Daniel Padnos, Andrea and Maynard Hellman, Michael and Bernadette Olsen, Vinay Tack, Edna Kapenhas and Michael Valdes, Roger and Ilene Schiel, Minerva Perez, Tien Ho So, Rita Bonicelli, Rachel Goldberg, Cathy Norman, Norman Yojy, Leslie Grand, and Linda Bieniewicz, Liz Derringer, Phyllis Chase, Dr. Paul Trotta, Dr. Gary and Karen Boxer, Jody and Jack Wasserman, Howie and Sherri Lippman.

Photo’s taken by Roger Sichel

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The Ellen Hermanson Foundation Auctions Off Jackets To Save Women’s Lives Part 3

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We told you about the Ellen Hermanson Foundation, annual Summer Gala to raise funds for women and breast cancer. Tomorrow night is the auction of denim jackets painted by famous artists. We told you about Shani Grosz and Roger Sichel who have created rocking jean jackets. Today Jane Elissa whose jackets are a staple in the Broadway community.

Jane also donated a pillow and painting.

Jane Elissa is a New York based artist creating artwork on canvas combining elements of paint, created appliques, collage, beads, vintage materials and tapestries. Each unique piece tells a story capturing the imagination, emotions and point of view that is uniquely hers. She has many celebrity clients and her work has been featured on national morning shows as well as QVC and HSN.

Eddie Redmayne’s jacket Jane did for him fro Cabaret

For the past 30 years, Jane has been voluntarily raising money for cancer and leukemia research through her benefits and designs. We are honored to add Jane Elissa’s collectibles to our product line as a percentage of each sale will be donated to charities.

Jane Elissa

The Ellen Hermanson Breast Center is designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology (ACR).  The Center offers a wide spectrum of breast health services, including education, early detection screenings and breast cancer treatment and support. The Center utilizes state-of-the-art diagnostic techniques, including computer-assisted mammography, ultrasound and a breast biopsy system that locates breast abnormalities and obtains tissue samples.

Breast cancer is a mind-numbing experience, not only for each patient, but for their families and friends. In a time of tremendous stress, Stony Brook Southampton Hospital’s Ellen Hermanson Breast Center offers a comprehensive patient-centric approach. Under the leadership of our fellowship-trained breast surgeon Dr. Edna Kapenhas, the Center includes Board-certified radiologists, pathologist, oncology nurse, radiology nurses, patient navigator, and certified technologists. Satellite diagnostic services are also located in East Hampton and Hampton Bays.

Did you know early breast cancer rarely has symptoms. Self-examination, an annual clinical examination and, depending on your age and family history, an annual mammogram are key to detecting breast cancer as early as possible. While most breast changes are not cancerous, it’s important to have them evaluated promptly. If you discover a lump or any of the other warning signs of breast cancer, especially if the changes persist after one menstrual cycle or they change the appearance of your breast, see your doctor immediately. If you’ve been treated for breast cancer in the past, report any new signs or symptoms right away. Symptoms may include:

  • A lump in the breast or a lump in the armpit that is hard and often does not hurt
  • Change in the size, shape, or feel of the breast or nipple (redness, dimpling, or puckering that looks like the skin of an orange)
  • Fluid coming from the nipple

In the event of a breast cancer diagnosis, and once definitive surgery has been completed, the patient may be referred to a medical and/or radiation oncologist for further treatment.

The Ellen Hermanson Foundation

To bid on the jackets and see more click here.

For more information visitellenhermanson.org.

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The Ellen Hermanson Foundation Auctions Off Jackets To Save Women’s Lives Part 2

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Yesterday we told you about the Ellen Hermanson Foundation, annual Summer Gala to raise funds for women and breast cancer. Ellen Hermanson was an articulate, courageous and indomitable warrior in the war against breast cancer. Her personal battle with the disease began when she was diagnosed with breast cancer while still nursing her six-month-old daughter. Ellen fought against her disease medically by undergoing surgery and aggressive chemotherapy. She also fought against breast cancer by becoming an activist and advocate. A journalist by training, she used her prodigious talent as a writer to give voice to the needs of breast cancer survivors and to educate her readers about the importance of being well informed, the challenges of living with breast cancer, and the availability of resources to help with the myriad problems that arise as a result of breast cancer. Her remarkable accomplishments attest to her extraordinary inner strength and selfless generosity. Ellen lost her hard-fought battle with breast cancer at the age of 42. She was working on an article exploring the then new and exciting potential of the Internet as a source of information and sharing for patients and their families. Ellen left a legacy of dignity, courage, determination, grace and love to all who knew her. To honor her memory, The Ellen Hermanson Foundation has been established to support and continue the important work she began.

Julie Ratner along with her sister her sister Emily Levin co-founded The Ellen Hermanson Foundation in honor of their younger sister, Ellen. The foundation has distributed more than $4 million in grants. Julie is a member of the National Breast Cancer Coalition and the New York State Breast Cancer Network.

Roger, Julie and Roger’s jackets

Part of the way they will raise money is to auction off denim jackets painted by famous artists. We told you about Shani Grosz and now Roger Sichel has created rocking jean jackets. One for adults with his famous photo of Janis Joplin. He also did a second jacket for kids with his newest art….Puppy on Futuristic Mars.  Rogers art was at Coachella this year and is on the moon. His art is in several galleries in Beverly Hills, Palm Beach and The Hamptons.

To bid on these jackets, attend the Gala or just donate go to #EHFGala2024

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The Ellen Hermanson Foundation Auctions Off Jackets To Save Women’s Lives

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The Ellen Hermanson Foundation, is a nonprofit dedicated to empowering people affected by cancer. This Saturday they will host their annual Summer Gala to raise funds. The event on  July 13, is from 6:30 to 11:30 PM at Bridgehampton Tennis & Surf Club. Beside oceanside cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, dinner, dancing, and an auction, followed by an after-party beach bonfire and s’mores. 

The foundation will honor Dr. Fredric Weinbaum, medical doctor and former Chief Administrative Officer/COO of Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, and The Honorable Rebecca A. Seawright, Member of the New York State Assembly whose 3-D screening bill, signed into law, expands access to cancer screenings without cost sharing to include 3-D Mammography. 

Part of the way they will raise money is to auction off denim jackets painted by famous artists. Three of the artists are friends of T2C and we want to highlight their work as well as give you insight on how to bid for a really good cause.

Shani and her jacket

First up is Shani Grosz. Her denim jacket combines fashion and Shani’s passion for painting she created a fantasy hand painted garden themed denim jacket trimmed with a lace bustle for drama and sprinkled with Swarovski crystals . All created with a magical vibe and a theme quote painted in the back of the jacket that reads “ the darkest Nights produce the brightest stars. “ … with the theme that women going through tough times such as cancer treatments are the true bright shining stars.

Shani is a graduate of Parson’s School of Design, and has established herself as an important and internationally recognized designer with over two decades as the President and Designer of SHANI Collection. She has won many prestigious design awards for her well executed vision of “Wearable Art”. Over the years, she has dressed various celebrities, news anchors, Broadway stars, television personalities and developed numerous wardrobes for both film and TV and as a teacher within the Designer Critic Program at FIT, Shani works closely at developing up and coming talent. Shani designs for the modern woman, celebrating her multi-faceted lifestyle that allows her to be both feminine and strong.

Shani

To know Shani is to know that she is a girl’s girl, so it’s only logical that her designs are about feeling free and comfortable in your skin. Shani’s designs are like the perfect little black dress –something every woman needs in her wardrobe that she can always count on to let her look her best. Her dresses are available at www.shanicollection.com. Please follow us on Instagram at www.instagram.com/shanidress.official.

To bid on Shani’s and the other artist were highlighting read more tomorrow.

On February 15, The Ellen Hermanson Foundation awarded $363,000 in grants to further its mission of assisting people being treated for breast cancer. The funding advances the Ellen Hermanson Breast Center at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, where no patients are turned away for lack of insurance, as well as its local satellite locations and Ellen’s Well, a psychosocial support program for patients. Grants were also awarded to members of The Ellen Hermanson Foundation Community Partnership to support bilingual outreach, social support, and breast care education for women without ready access to health care.

This year, funds raised will go toward acquiring a cutting-edge tomosynthesis mammography machine at the center, providing breast screenings and diagnostic procedures, allocating Ellen’s Well micro-grants for transportation and social services, supporting the Phillips Family Cancer Care Summit and paying a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), a nurse practitioner, and an oncology nurse patient navigator at Ellen’s Well.

For more information visit ellenhermanson.org.

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