A painless, portable device that uses electrical current rather than X-ray to examine breasts for cancer is under study at the Medical College of Georgia.
MCG is one of some 20 centers across the world studying impedance scanning, a technique based on evidence that electrical current passes through cancerous tissue more easily than normal tissue. Preliminary studies have shown the technique, which takes about 10 minutes and doesn’t require often-uncomfortable breast compression, can pick up very small tumors, according to its developers, Z-Tech, Inc., which has offices in South Carolina and Ontario.
The study of some 4,500 women – about 500 at MCG Medical Center – will determine whether the device, which produces a report rather than a breast image, is accurate enough for widespread use, says Dr. James H. Craft, MCG radiologist and a principal investigator. Impedance scanning involves placing a flower-shaped grouping of electrodes with a hole in the center for the nipple over each breast. A small amount of electricity is sent through the breasts and a computer immediately calculates and presents findings based on Z-Tech’s benchmarks for negative and positive results. Rather than waiting for a radiologist to look at an X-ray, the computer immediately notes whether the image is HEDA negative, meaning no cancer detected, or positive.
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Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
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Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
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