This Week in Health: A Way to Detect Cancer in Seconds

2 minute read

Scientists from Texas have developed a pen-sized device that can identify cancer in seconds. If it becomes FDA-approved, it may one day help doctors get rid of as much cancerous tissue as possible during surgeries. Here’s what else caught our attention this week. (Sign up for the TIME Health newsletter for more.)

This pen can diagnose cancer in 10 seconds

The MasSpec Pen is a handheld probe that can non-destructively analyze human tissue samples to identify cancer.Vivian Abagiu/Univ. of Texas at Austin

A new pen-sized device may one day make it easier for surgeons to remove cancer tumors. Unlike other real-time diagnostic tools, this device can distinguish between cancerous and non-cancerous tissue in seconds without harmful side effects, its makers say.

Here’s how dirty your money really is

The cash in your wallet is teeming with microbes and even residue from drugs—but don’t freak out just yet.


The real reason why you love walking your dog

Portrait of smiling Golden Retriever
Getty Images

Spending time with a pet can improve your health in so many ways. But even with those health perks, researchers found that the biggest reason people love walking their dog is that it simply makes them happy.

You can treat acid reflux with diet instead of drugs

A new study shows that changing what you eat is as effective as medication when it comes to relieving symptoms.

This is the meanest reason to break up with someone

Rejection hurts. But a new study shows that it stings even more when you’re dumped for someone else.

The secret power of play

Bethan Mooney for TIME

Unscheduled playtime for children has been declining for the past half-century. But research shows that recess isn’t just a break from school: it helps kids learn to be human.

Why sugar makes you so thirsty

Molly Cranna for TIME

A doctor explains how sweet treats affect your body on a cellular level—which you’ll want to keep in mind the next time you reach for a cookie.

Getting tested for prostate cancer may be worth it after all

When it comes to screening for prostate cancer, there’s been much debate over how effective the PSA blood test is. Here’s what we know now.

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