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A Ray of Hope

Scientists developing new kind of medical imaging

THURSDAY, Aug. 1, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- British scientists are trying to develop a new kind of medical imaging that will be able to examine your body down to a "T".

Researchers at the University of Cambridge and the University of Sheffield are working with terahertz radiation -- also known as T-rays -- and say this kind of medical imaging system may be much safer than X-rays.

That's because T-rays, unlike X-rays, don't have enough energy to remove electrons from their parent atoms in cells. This removal of electrons from atoms increases the chances of cell mutation.

The scientists presented an update of their T-ray research today at the International Conference on the Physics of Semiconductors in Edinburgh, Scotland.

T-rays may have uses beyond medical imaging. T-rays could be used for scanning luggage at airports or by the cosmetic industry to measure moisturizer effectiveness, researchers say.

More information

Here's a look at how X-rays work.

SOURCE: Institute of Physics, news release, Aug. 1, 2002
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