A simple saliva test may be able to diagnose diabetes and cancer at an early stage, according to new research from UCLA.
The study, published in Clinical Chemistry, found that some of the molecules found in saliva have the same disease-revealing properties as those in the blood.
Dr. David Wong, a senior author of the paper and UCLA’s Felix and Mildred Yip Endowed Professor in Dentistry, said ‘if we can define the boundaries of molecular targets in saliva, then we can ask what the constituents in saliva are that can mark someone who has pre-diabetes or the early stages of oral cancer or pancreatic cancer – and we can utilise this knowledge for personalised medicine.’
The study is the most complete analysis of RNA molecules ever performed. RNA, which is known as a cellular messenger that carries out the instructions provided by DNA. Recently, it has been discovered that RNA has a huge number of functions, many of which are unknown.
The research concluded that analysing saliva samples might soon make it possible to diagnose a number of diseases, including diabetes. Dr. Wong suggested that this could lead to a new kind of self-diagnostic devices. He said that “this could indicate that wearable gear that informs you whether you have a disease – even before you have any symptoms – is almost here.”

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