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D. The Great Potential of Saliva as a Screening Tool

Narrator: This is Science Today. Every day, we produce one and a half liters of saliva through our circulation to constantly filter elements, informative molecules and information from the circulation into the mouth. Dr. David Wong, director of the UCLA School of Dentistry says scientists are now capitalizing on screening and diagnostic opportunities using saliva.

Wong: The potential are enormous. We are beginning this journey, this journey is merely a year and a half, primarily because of the technology for detection is just beginning to come on into the scientific community and hopefully soon, into the commercial world, where doctors and dentists and healthcare providers can begin to use them.

Narrator: Wong, who is also a cancer researcher at UCLA, successfully used saliva to detect head and neck cancer.

Wong: What remains to be seen is what human diseases reflect itself in saliva. Does diabetic type II, does breast cancer, does prostate cancer have a disease signature in saliva? Those are the work that needs to be done.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.