Google is working on a cancer-detecting pill in its latest effort to push the boundaries of technology.
Still in the experimental stage, the pill is packed with tiny magnetic particles, which can travel through a patient’s bloodstream, search for malignant cells and report their findings to a sensor on a wearable device.
As many as 2,000 of these microscopic “nanoparticles” could fit inside a single red blood cell to provide doctors with better insights about what is happening inside their patients.
The project announced Tuesday is the latest effort to emerge from Google’s X lab, which has been trying to open new technological frontiers to solve nettlesome problems and improve the quality of people’s lives. The same division is also working on several other outlandish projects that have little to do with Google’s main business of Internet search and advertising: Self-driving cars, a computer called Glass that looks like eyeglasses, Internet-beam balloons and contact lenses that can measure glucose in tears.
Some investors frustrated with the costs of financing X’s projects ridicule them as expensive flights of fancy, but Google CEO Larry Page likens them to moonshots that could unleash future innovation and money-making opportunities.