Method for Detecting Homemade Bombs Now Targeting Indicator of Dementia

Method for Detecting Homemade Bombs Now Targeting Indicator of Dementia
A technique using light intensity to detect explosive residue in homemade bombs, also known as improvised explosive devices (IEDs), is now being used by researchers from the University of Adelaide in South Australia to identify vitamins in blood that are linked to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Vitamin B12 is an essential component for the proper functioning and health of nerve tissue, brain and red blood cells. According to the National Institutes of Health in the U.S., people older than 14 years-of-age should consume about 2.4 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B12 per day, pregnant women 2.6 mcg and lactating women 2.8 mcg. Vitamin B12 deficiency, most common in older adults and vegetarians (it can be found in most foods that come from animals, but is not typically found in plant foods), can cause various signs and symptoms, including memory loss. Although it is not clear if vitamin B12 supplements can improve symptoms of dementia, low levels of this vitamin possibly can be used as a biomarker for the onset of Alzheimer’s. In this technique, light shines through a sample of diluted blood, causing vitamin B12 molecules to vibrate. Then an optical fibre will detect these vibrations and deliver the information to a machine that carefully analyzes the "vibrational signature." Researchers then can identify the molecule to which it corresponds. “We shine a light onto a blood sample that gives us a measurement of the amount of vitamin B12, which is linked to dementia,” George Tsiminis, lead researcher of the study, said in a
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