Originally posted at WEGO Health. Leave your thoughts here or on the WEGO Health Asthma and Allergy Group Discussion page
Some days I think "If you think it, it will come".
The other day I was explaining and borderline complaining about the current state of food allergy testing, and lo and behold there is an article in Medical News Today that is discussing a new test in the works for determining food allergies. The new test is a blood test like the RAST but instead of measuring antibodies, the new test would take a precise measurement of a cells allergic reaction to a particular allergen. Basically it sounds like a food challenge for the blood.
This test is being developed by Christopher Love, an MIT Chemical Engineer and he is working with Dale Umetsu, professor of pediatric immunology at Children's Hospital Boston.
Another article about the new testing can be found at Ars Technica in the article Lab On A Chip. There is an actual picture of the test.
I find all of this completely exciting and very hopeful not only for future testing of allergies but also for a possible cure somewhere down the road. If they can pinpoint how these specific cells react during an allergic reaction, maybe they can determine how to make them stop reacting.
What do you think? Have you heard about the Lab On A Chip before? Are there any other new advances in allergies that you are aware of?
To learn more visit:
The Love Lab - The webpage from the MIT lab responsible for the new type of testing.
Lab On A Chip - RSC Journal Page with extensive information about this project
Immunity, from the cells point of view - MIT article from November 2008 about the project, the engineers working on it and what they plan to accomplish