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X Ray Excels: Technique brings a new image to medicine

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1:11pm, August 17, 2005

Imaging soft tissue in detail has required enormous particle accelerators that span several city blocks. A new method may soon bring this valuable diagnostic capability into hospital settings. There, researchers say, it will provide physicians with unprecedented power to spot tumors, clogged arteries, and other soft-tissue problems.

Researchers have long known that phase-contrast X-ray imaging can yield stunning pictures of soft tissue. Currently, however, the technique requires X rays from a synchrotron, a particle accelerator measuring 300 meters or more in diameter.

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