Single Molecule Detection of a Cancer Biomarker

In 2012, Dr. Arnold and his team were able to detect in solution the smallest known RNA virus, MS2, with a mass of 6 attograms. Now, the NYU-Poly team has detected: a human cancer marker protein called thyroglobulin, with a mass of just 1 attogram, and the bovine form of a common plasma protein, serum albumin, with a far smaller mass of 0.11 attogram. An attogram is 10-18 grams, or a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a gram.

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