An Irish 16-year-old student named Elle Loughran used graphene to construct a sensor that can detect brain tumors. The sensor, designed with the support of CRANN in Trinity College Dublin, was featured in the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition event in Dublin, Ireland.

The sensor measures levels of a protein called attractin in the cerebrospinal fluid, which can be sampled from a patient through a lumbar puncture procedure. As elevated levels of this protein indicate a glioma (a type of brain tumor), detecting it can be helpful in detecting tumors. 

The sensor system was built by linking graphene with an antibody that binds attractin, to then measure the changes in conductivity of the graphene when it is bound with attractin. The idea, of course, requires much work still, but if developed it can enable taking a CSF fluid and detecting brain tumors by simply using this sensor to measure changes.

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