Questions for ‘Headphones or earmuffs could replace needles in some disease testing’

a teen boy wears headphones while working on a laptop

Earmuffs or headphones (like those shown above) could soon become part of a system that collects gases to help diagnose disease.

Strauss/Curtis / Getty Images

To accompany “Headphones or earmuffs could replace needles in some disease testing


Before Reading:

1.  Name three ways that doctors typically test for diseases.

2.  Which of those tests is noninvasive (meaning you don’t “invade” the body to get the information you need)?

During Reading:

1.  Why is the ear “a good place to monitor,” according to Moamen Elmassry?

2.  What type of gases would the new system look to measure, based on the article?

3.  What is the first gas tested with the new system?

4.  From what part of the body did Koji Toma’s team initially try to measure blood gases? Why did they switch to the ear?

5.  How long did it take to measure blood gases in the human volunteers?

6.  What does Elmassry see as an additional benefit that the new system might offer?

After Reading:

1.  The first human tests of the new system lasted 90 minutes. But its designers think they could shorten the time needed for future tests. What is one way they might do this? (Stumped? Imagine the researchers graphed how long it took to measure peak levels of a particular gas in thousands of people who were either healthy or who had some target disease. How might they use that graph to make sense of what they saw coming out of the skin in a patient after just 5 or 10 minutes?)