Using whole-body scans to screen for cancer presents such a catch-22, especially in kids. While traditional radiation scanners like PET and CT are good at finding cancer, they expose patients to radiation that can be harmful and even induce cancer later in life -- more so in younger patients, because their cells are still dividing quickly and because, with more years ahead of them than adults, children also have a higher chance of being exposed to more radiation down the line.
Mr. Bones has an arthritis-related jaw condition. He can't open his mouth as fully as an alligator normally can. Lately, he's not even been able to open it as wide as usual. To find out what's up, the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park in Florida had to take him in for a CT scan.
Mr. Bones is a large albino alligator. You can't exactly sit him down and explain in English why he needs to keep still for his own good to have a successful CT scan. He had to be fully restrained, but without the use of sedatives, since administering drugs can be a risky endeavor with potentially dangerous side effects for alligators.… Read more
Ultrasound as an imaging technique has several things going for it. For one, it's more affordable than CT and MRI scans, and it's portable, so it can easily travel to rural and low-infrastructure areas or patients who are house-bound. And unlike with CT scans and X-rays, there is no ionizing radiation exposure, hence its widespread use imaging fetuses in pregnant women.
Unfortunately, the high-frequency soundwave approach to viewing soft tissue doesn't provide great resolution, so despite all its perks, it's not the go-to imaging tech for cancer detection. Now, thanks to a new discovery out of … Read more
Pancreatic cancer carries one of the worst prognoses of any disease, period. A whopping 99 percent of people diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer are dead within five years, and without any screening tests, it's usually found late. Even though it's one of the least diagnosed types of cancer in the US, it is the fourth-leading cause of cancer deaths. With such a grim record, scientists are hard at work looking for a test that can spot the disease earlier.
And while they caution that their work is preliminary, Danish scientists are reporting Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association … Read more
Thanks to the magic of dissection, we have a pretty good idea of the changes that occur when a caterpillar spins its chrysalis and enters its metamorphosis -- the developmental stage that sees it move from the juvenile larval stage to the gorgeous adult life of a butterfly.
However, as you might have already guessed, dissection destroys the specimen, meaning that researchers are unable to follow the full development of a creature. We do know that the caterpillar will use enzymes to break down some of its proteins to reform; Scientific American called this a cocoon full of "caterpillar soup." However, scientists have performed research revealing that while some breakdown occurs, the idea of caterpillar soup is mostly wrong (but still gross).
Using micro-computed tomography, or micro-CT scanning, which uses X-ray imaging to re-create 3D cross-sections of the scanned object, Tristan Rowe and Russell Garwood from the U.K's University of Manchester and Thomas Simonsen from London's Natural History Museum have discovered exactly what happens to a painted lady butterfly inside the chrysalis. … Read more
No one can deny the popularity of sound bar speakers, but I've always been frustrated by their sound quality. There were exceptions; the $899 Atlantic Technology PB-235 and $699 SpeakerCraft CS3 are quite good, but in the more popular $300-to-$400 range the 'bars weren't all that great. Granted, they were a big step up from TV speakers, but their sound was still a compromise, compared with what's available from the better $300-to-$400 Emotiva and Audioengine self-powered stereo speakers (they get hooked up from your TV's stereo analog jacks).
A few weeks ago I spent … Read more
If sound bars are the everyman's home audio system, the Sony HT-CT260 feels like the everyman's sound bar.
It starts with excellent sound quality, topping last year's sonic champ, the Haier SBEV40-Slim, and holding its own with the best we've heard this year, too. There's built-in Bluetooth, making it easy to wirelessly stream audio from just about every tablet and smartphone, and it throws in decoding for Dolby Digital and DTS for good measure. It has a signature, geometric design that's compact enough to unobtrusively sit under most TVs, but it also has a … Read more
Some 10 million people around the world seek treatment for head trauma every year, and traumatic brain injury (TBI) is predicted to become the world's third leading cause of death and disability by 2020.
The Infrascanner Model 2000, a portable intracranial hematoma detector, just may put a dent in the death rate if it helps to quickly spot potential brain bleeds in TBI victims.
The handheld device, recently approved for both military and civilian use by the FDA, uses near-infrared (NIR) tech on eight different points of the brain. Because there is a higher concentration of hemoglobin in a … Read more
Sound bar buyers' performance expectations are pretty low; all the 'bar has to do is sound better than the lousy speakers that are built into their TVs. So if that's all you need, a sound bar will get the job done -- but there are better-sounding alternatives, starting with a pair of self-powered Audioengine A2 ($199) speakers. The A2s are terrific, but the Paradigm Millenia CT ($700) is a 2.1-channel subwoofer/satellite system, and it sounds better than the Audioengines. A lot better, and it's really pretty amazing.
Spread 64 inches apart, the Millenia sats produced a … Read more
Of all the kids who go to emergency rooms in the U.S., about 6 percent are there because of stomach pains, according to researchers analyzing a large national database.
And while that 6 percent rate has held steady over the past decade, with anywhere from 2 percent to 8 percent being diagnosed with appendicitis (the number fluctuated without any clear pattern), the percentage of kids getting CT scans has jumped from 0.9 percent to 15.4 percent between 1998 and 2008, the researchers wrote in the current issue of the journal Pediatrics.… Read more