Spotting the difference between cancerous tissue and normal tissue is a challenge, even for highly-trained surgeons. The standard method, called Frozen Section Analysis, is slow – taking 30 minutes or more to prepare and interpret. All the while, the patient must be kept anesthetized.

Now, however, engineers at the University of Texas at Austin have developed a new tool that they claim can perform the same task in about ten seconds. It's called the MasSpec Pen.

“If you talk to cancer…

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