Dec 22, 2008
Good news for allergy sufferers: Researchers may have hit upon a fast, new way to detect circulating pollen using a common laboratory technique that would provide instant updates of which types of the allergen are circulating in the air. So far, the technique has only been shown to work in a lab, but it paves the way for a quicker detection system in the future, scientists report today in the journal Analytical Chemistry.
"[Pollen-counting] is a very time-consuming process," says David Shulan, an allergist at Certified Allergy and Asthma Consultants in Albany, New York. "It takes a lot of training to be able to identify the pollens. . . . It would be nice if we could do things quicker" he adds, noting that a real-time automated pollen-detection system might help allergists make more accurate diagnoses.
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