Feature

These futuristic X-rays could revolutionize disease diagnosis

They're in color — and 3-D

Each week, we spotlight a cool innovation recommended by some of the industry's top tech writers. This week's pick is colored X-rays.

Adapting tools used by physicists to detect subatomic particles at the Large Hadron Collider, researchers at New Zealand's Otago University have captured 3-D color X-rays of the human body, said Emily Baumgaertner at The New York Times. The scanner they developed may eventually diagnose illnesses without invasive surgery. Functioning much like a digital camera that turns subatomic particles into a pixel image, the tool is designed to "find the explanation for somebody's symptoms, like a tumor, and then find the best way to reach it with the least amount of detours and misadventures."

The scans show high-resolution images of bodily tissue, "including minute disease markers." Researchers "have generated images of ankles and wrists, but eventually plan to scan full human bodies." A clinical trial with orthopedic and rheumatology patients is planned in coming months.

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