X-ray may be best screening tool for diagnosing knee pain

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Have you ever visited the doctor for knee pain or injuries from osteoarthritis?

If you have, you’re not alone! This is one of the most common reasons for a visit to the doctor’s office.

MRIs are widely used by doctors to diagnose knee problems. But a 2016 study in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons found that a simple x-ray may be a better diagnostic tool as it helps reduce time and cost.

The study looked at 100 MRI scans of knees from patients ages 40 and older and found that the most common diagnoses were osteoarthritis (39%) and meniscal tears (29%). Almost 25% of MRI scans were taken before the patient first obtained an x-ray, and yet only one-half of those scans contributed to a patient’s diagnosis and treatment for osteoarthritis.

“X-rays are an appropriate screening test for knee pain in older patients, and often the results of an x-ray can tell whether an MRI would be even helpful,” Researcher Dr. Muyibat Adelani of Washington University in St. Louis says. In addition, an MRI costs about 12 times that of an x-ray (based on Medicare rates) and can take an hour to perform.

Get the full story from Harvard Health Publications.

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NASA technology used in digital dental x-ray Imager

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Did you know that NASA is present when you go to the dentist?

Think of the sensor that enables digital x-ray imagery that allows dentists to spot problems. Yup, that’s NASA! That technology had its start looking at planets, stars, and black holes.

The NASA technology has made dental x-rays safer, cheaper, and easier to process.

In the early 90s, engineer Eric Fossum with NASA in Pasadena, California conducted research and eventually were able to create the “camera chip” technology, as it is now known. Fossum and his department worked with several industry partners, one of which was a dental device manufacturer.

The company saw several potential benefits to the new technology and worked with Fossum and his team to realize them.

“There was a lot of back-and-forth between our designers and their engineers” to work out the idiosyncrasies inherent in adapting the technology for X-ray use, Fossum says.

For the patient, digital X-rays mean lower radiation exposure and images that can be manipulated for more accurate diagnoses and to communicate problems to the patient. That translates directly to better diagnosis and treatment for the patient.

Thanks, NASA! Who knew?

Read more here.

 

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Your Weekly X-Ray Humor

Happy Monday, everybody!

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X-Ray Your City’s Street Network, With a Bit of Code

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A new open-source tool lets users compare the structure of cities around the world.

A city’s street network is like its skeleton—a foundation for features like pipes, electrical lines, buildings, and public spaces. Geoff Boeing, an urban planning scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, has developed a coding tool that visualizes any city’s street network to scale as a black-and-white x-ray style map.

Boeing’s tool complements existing urban-design techniques. “Very often, this kind of computational urban data science speaks past urban designers—it’s unfortunate,” Boeing says. “A tool like this can help support urban designers in the questions they’re already asking. Basically, it streamlines the process [of analyzing urban form] and makes it reproducible without having to reinvent the wheel every time.”

With just one line of code, users can open a square-mile window into any part of a city. Each resulting map is like an x-ray of the city it represents, allowing viewers to focus on the layout of the streets in the area they’ve selected. See some of the x-rays below!

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Read the full article here.

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For first time ever, x-ray imaging captures material defect process

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For centuries, humans have been changing the properties of materials to build better tools. In modern life, new materials are created to improve today’s items, such as stronger steel for skyscrapers.

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have discovered a new approach to detail the formation of these material changes at the atomic scale and in near-real time. This is an important step that could assist in engineering better and stronger new materials.

For the first time every, they have used x-rays to capture images of the creation of structural defects in palladium when the metal is exposed to hydrogen.

This imaging capability will help researchers validate models that predict the behavior of materials and how they form defects. Defect engineering is the practice of intentionally creating defects within a material in order to change the material’s properties. This knowledge is key to engineering better, stronger and more reliable materials for buildings, semiconductors, batteries, technological devices and many other items and tools.

 

Read the full article from ScienceDaily.

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2 Products Upgrading X-Ray to This Century

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Being able to see into or through something has long been identified as a strong, even game-changing, capability, for law enforcement professionals. Through the use of modern x-rays technology, that capability exists. The possibilities are endless: seeing through the trunk of a suspect’s vehicle, looking inside a backpack without unzipping it, or seeing inside a room in a hostage situation.

One reality in law enforcement is that what you can’t see can kill you. Two technologies developed to help you see into that unknown: a portable x-ray unit from Smart Imaging Systems Inc. and a through-wall technology from Camero-Tech, Ltd.

The Smart Imaging Systems portable x-ray technology allows you to see and develop a 3D image of a given object and its contents with amazing clarity. The through-wall imaging capability from Camero-Tech allows you to “see” through walls into a room and identify how many people are inside along with their relative positions. Welcome to the 21st century.

We are consistently amazed by the power of x-rays to change the world and make it a better, safer place.

Read the full article here.

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Your Monthly Dose of X-Ray Humor

You know we can’t help but share an interesting x-ray photo. Hope you laugh at this cartoon as hard as we did!

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