Current Events Report
Markoff, John. “Laboratories Seek New Ways to Take a Look Inside.” The New York Times, published October 8,2012 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/09/health/labs-seek-new-ways-to-look-inside-the-body.html?ref=science
Christopher Contag, a microbiologist, at Stanford University in California has just developed a wide range of new tools that can travel down the stomach, intestines, and esophagus and virtually see three dimensions below the skins surface to allow pathologists to probe for cancers. These new devices are also able to virtually “punch holes” into hundreds of cells and using acoustic and optical techniques are able to use color contrasting to identify abnormalities in the cell. These new pathology tools provide doctors with an instant diagnosis and at the same time are able to make it inexpensive and can usually be based on smart phones. These advances are mostly possible because of the declining cost of computing and the rising availability of other miniaturization technologies such as nanotechnology. Another developing product was made by Mathew Putman, from Columbia University, and it is an advanced ultrasound system that is put in through the patients mouth and goes down to the esophagus. The technique is called three-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography, or 3-D TEE, this takes a picture of the heart from the patients rib cage and turns them into high resolution 3-D videos of the patients beating heart.
These new technologies are able to give the patient a diagnosis in a much faster and cheaper way than ever before. The fact that new pathology tools are more affordable means that they can be used to help sick people in poverty stricken countries, which is an amazing accomplishment. Since doctors can make a diagnosis faster it means that diseases that are fatal if not caught soon enough, such as cancer, can be detected faster and with more precision.
I thought this was a very well written and descriptive article. My only criticism is that I think this article could have been split into two separate articles because the author touches upon many different new technologies but some are in different fields of medicine. I think the author did a great job explaining each new technology and made sure that the reader could understand all the scientific terms and didn’t leave any gray areas.