The incidence of skin cancer in Europe, US and Australia is rising rapidly. One in five will develop some form of skin cancer during the lifetime. A person has a 1:33 chance to develop melanoma, the most aggressive skin cancer.
Melanoma is the second most common cancer in women aged 20-29, and the sixth most common cancer in men and women. In 2007, more than 1 million new cases were diagnosed in the US alone.
About 90% of skin cancers are caused by ultraviolet (UV) sunlight. A significant improvement of the current diagnostic tools of dermatologists is required in order to identify dermal disorders at a very early stage as well as to monitor directly the effects of treatment.
In the context of the SKINSPECTION project, a European consortium has developed a novel multimodal hybrid diagnostic imaging system with the capability to perform non-invasive high resolution three-dimensional imaging in-vivo.
The SKINSPECTION approach combines two-photon imaging with time-correlated single photon detection, autofluorescence lifetime imaging, high-frequency ultrasound and optoacoustic imaging. The innovative combination of these modalities allows to obtain a wide-field view with quantitative depth information of skin lesions and a close-look into particular intra-tissue compartments with quantitative hyperspectral information and subcellular resolution. The goal of the project is to provide a novel unique tool for early diagnosis and treatment control of skin cancer and skin disease.
For achieving this objective, two systems for microscopic and macroscopic imaging of lesions were developed in the last 3 years by the partners JenLab GmbH and Imperial College London (two-photon microscopy/FLIM) and Fraunhofer IBMT (Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering) and kibero GmbH (optoacoustic/ultrasound imaging). The systems were successfully certified for clinical studies and are currently being evaluated for imaging of skin lesions in a bicentric clinical trial at Hammersmith Hospital and Universita di Modena.
Annette Maurer | Fraunhofer-Institut
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Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
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Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
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Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
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For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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