Researchers in New Zealand have designed an x-ray scanner capable of capturing human bodies in full color and three dimensions, which could give doctors a clearer picture for diagnosing cancer and other diseases, minimizing the need for invasive surgeries, The New York Times reports. Whereas traditional scanners send x-rays through the body and show only two colors, white where bone tissue has absorbed the beams, and black where soft tissues have not, the new machine is sensitive enough to detect specific types of tissue (such as bone, cartilage, fat, and water) by analyzing individual light particles. The tissue data are then used to construct a full color reconstruction of the body, like the wrist pictured above. The scanning technology was adapted from a tool that physicists used at CERN, the European particle physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, to detect particles moving through the Large Hadron Collider.
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