Developers say C-Fast – developed from bomb detection technology – will revolutionise diagnosis of other diseases
Scientists sceptical about device that ‘remotely detects hepatitis C’
The device the doctor held in his hand was not a contraption you expect to find in a rural hospital near the banks of the Nile.
For a start, it was adapted from a bomb detector used by the Egyptian army. Second, it looked like the antenna for a car radio. Third, and most bizarrely, it could – the doctor claimed – remotely detect the presence of liver disease in patients sitting several feet away, within seconds.
The antenna was a prototype for a device called C-Fast. If its Egyptian developers are to be believed, C-Fast is a revolutionary means of using bomb detection technology to scan for hepatitis C – a strongly contested discovery that, if proven, would contradict received scientific understanding, and potentially change the way many diseases are diagnosed.
Witnessed in various contexts by the Guardian, the prototype operates like a mechanical divining rod – though there are digital versions. It appears to swing towards people who suffer from hepatitis C, remaining motionless in the presence of those who don’t. Shiha claimed the movement of the rod was sparked by the presence of a specific electromagnetic frequency that emanates from a certain strain of hepatitis C.
WHOA! That’s a bunch of crap right there. Someone needs to demonstrate that “electromagnetic frequency emanates from a certain strain of hepatitis C” because that currently is not an accepted claim. Nor is it plausible.
The article states is has no basis in science, has not been proven and is disputed. Who wants to make a bet it WON’T be. This is dangerous stuff. The tests mentioned have no details. We do not know that it has been double blinded – a necessity for this sort of test. Neither the person with the device, nor the patient must know if they have the disease. So, these claimed tests that so convinced some other doctors have not been validated.
At the bottom of the article, it states the headline was changed (above is the revised version). It originally said “Scientists divided over device that ‘remotely detects hepatitis C’” Yep, that was far too generous. There is nothing good about promoting a product that has not been shown to work and is completely implausible.
The reference to bomb detection devices was interesting. That FAILED miserably: McCormick pleads not guilty to fraud charges over dowser-like bomb detectors.
This smells like the same load of bull.
UPDATE: (28-Feb-2013) Want to know what this thing looks like? Here is the patent application (PDF). It’s EXACTLY what you expect – dowsing rod. They are claiming tests showed 100% accuracy. I call Bullshit.
Tip: Peter Robinson