Nowadays, health problem has become rather severe in China. In 2015, there are approximately 92.4 million people of diabetes, 170 million people of hypertension and 4.3 million newly added cancer cases in China according to the Chinese Health Big Data . On average, every 30 seconds, one man dies of cardio cerebral vascular diseases here in China. What’s worse, the age of morbidity crowd displays a younger trend due to unhealthy lifestyle.
In fact, many diseases can be prevented by encouraging more people to do physical examinations to prevent or treat diseases in the first place. However, doing physical examinations is still not very convenient. In urban areas in China, as the same in many other places in the world, physical examination is quite time-consuming, usually taking a whole day to accomplish and a whole week to wait for the results, which bothers busy office workers in China a lot, resulting in their low participation in physical examinations. In suburbs, especially in many poverty-stricken mountain areas in the west of China, local residents are inaccessible to take physical examinations due to the crude medical conditions and the high cost of examinations.
We managed to engineer Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a yeast strain with great abundance of background information and simple genetic manipulations, to make it a promising choice for individual to make early diagnosis domestically with low cost. The most exciting part of our story is that our yeast biosensor can not only serve as a chassis for an incredibly large variety of disease biomarkers, just like a versatile interface in terms of computer engineering, but also response in a real-time manner which allows users to get their results within 10 minutes.