STANFORD, Calif. — Oct. 23, 2003 — Intel Corporation and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center today announced a collaborative research effort to apply Intel's expertise in nanotechnology to develop improved methods of studying, diagnosing and preventing cancer. The announcement was made at the BioSilico Seminar, held at Stanford University.
"To launch the effort, Intel is building an Intel Raman Bioanalyzer System at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle," said Andrew Berlin, lead researcher, Intel's Precision Biology program. "The instrument beams lasers onto tiny medical samples, such as blood serum, to create images that reveal the chemical structure of molecules. The goal is to determine if this technology, previously used to detect microscopic imperfections on silicon chips, can also detect subtle traces of disease."
"This collaboration is a unique and exciting interaction," said Dr. Lee Hartwell, Nobel Laureate and center president and director. "Biologists have never before had such a method for studying the molecular structure of biology. This is true discovery-based research; we don't know what we will see or learn. It may lead to a new era of molecular diagnostics and improved methods of early disease detection."
"Intel enthusiastically endorses Dr. Hartwell's vision of Early Disease Detection and I am thrilled to have this opportunity to help accelerate progress towards it realization. This is collaborative research at its best. Together we can learn how best to adapt advances in nanotechnology to solve some of the most pressing problems in medicine and biology," said David Tennenhouse, vice president, Intel's Corporate Technology Group and director of research..
The Intel Raman Bioanalyzer System is based on a technique known as Raman spectroscopy Intel uses this technique to analyze subtle chemical compositions during the chip fabrication process. By shining a laser beam at an object, molecules within the substance are stimulated to give off a spectrum that can be detected by sensors in a Raman spectrometer. Because every substance has a unique chemical composition, every substance produces a unique Raman spectrum - the equivalent of a chemical barcode tag.
At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, medical researchers hope the specially designed instrument - the most sensitive of its kind in the world - will help them identify proteins in human blood serum that foretell the susceptibility, presence or prognosis of diseases such as cancer. At the same time, Intel will learn from them about potential applications and benefits of the technology.
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home of two Nobel Prize laureates, is an independent, nonprofit research institution dedicated to the development and advancement of biomedical technology to eliminate cancer and other potentially fatal diseases. Fred Hutchinson receives more funding from the National Institutes of Health than any other independent U.S. research center. Recognized internationally for its pioneering work in bone-marrow transplantation, the center's four scientific divisions collaborate to form a unique environment for conducting basic and applied science. Fred Hutchinson, in collaboration with its clinical and research partners, the University of Washington Academic Medical Center and Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in the Pacific Northwest and is one of 38 nationwide. For more information, visit the center's Web site at www.fhcrc.org.
Intel Precision Biology Program
Intel's Precision Biology Program is a research team of chemists, engineers, biologists and physicists. They combine expertise in microbiology and molecular analysis with Intel's core expertise in microelectronics, MEMS and nanotechnology. The team is conducting long-range research to create fundamental advances in sensor technology, and to work together with the medical community to make it possible to one day use chips to diagnose disease and improve peoples' health.
Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com/pressroom.