Scientists around the world are using the banana as a screening system for skin cancer. Bananas have been proven to replicate the formation of human skin. The older the fruit gets, the more spots appear - same goes for humans. This is due to a common enzyme known as tyrosinase. People with the skin cancer disease, melanoma, tend to have a greater amount of this common enzyme.
Researchers from the Laboratory of Physical and Analytical Electrochemistry in Switzerland have come to the conclusion that this common enzyme between bananas and humans is a link between the growth of cancer cells, according to Food and Wine, thus making bananas a reliable screening system for skin cancer. "The spots on human skin and on a banana's peel are roughly the same size," said researcher from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Hubert Girault, according to Business Insider.
The brown patches on a human's skin and on the tropical fruit is caused by faulty regulation of tyrosinase, which changes the overall proportion of melanin in both the banana and the human skin, causing the skin to turn brown. The team of scientists created a scanning system that consists of eight flexible microelectrodes that slowly pass over the skin to measure the amount and distribution of the enzyme tyrosinase.
"This system could obviate the need for invasive tests like biopsies," the team said. Girault is said to believe that there is a possibility that the screening system could one day be used to eliminate tumors, render biopsies and discourage the need for chemo therapy, according to Yahoo News.
"Our initial laboratory tests showed us that our device could be used to destroy cells," Girault said. The research has been published in the German science journal Angewandte Chemie.