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Editor's e-Note
Ultrasound is top of mind this month, and there is no shortage of news associated with this modality. Breakthroughs are being made to such an extent that we can hardly share them all with you in one sitting.

Particularly intriguing is the idea of engineers taking a tip from nature and harnessing two ultrasonic signals working in tandem—a development that is covered more than once in this month’s E-Newsletter.

— Dave Yeager, editor
e-News Exclusive
Physicists Unveil 3D Images of Cancer Cells in the Body

Clinicians and scientists are in need of a better understanding of cancer cells and their properties in order to provide targeted cancer treatment. Individual cancer cells are often examined in test tubes before the findings are tested in living organisms.

“Our aim is to visualize cancer cells inside the living body to find out how they function, how they spread, and how they react to new therapies,” says Jan Laufer, PhD, a medical physicist from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in Germany. Laufer specializes in the field of photoacoustic imaging, a process that uses ultrasound waves generated by laser beams to produce high-resolution 3D images of the body’s interior.

“The problem is that tumor cells are transparent. This makes it difficult to use optical methods to examine tumors in the body,” according to Laufer, whose research group has developed a new method to solve this problem.

First, the scientists introduce a specific gene into the genome of the cancer cells. “Once inside the cells, the gene produces a phytochrome protein, which originates from plants and bacteria. There it serves as a light sensor,” Laufer continues.

Full story »
Other Imaging News
Dolphin Study Leads to Groundbreaking Ultrasound Algorithm
Researchers studying echolocation recently discovered that dolphins navigate via two intertwined ultrasound beams. Lund University researchers have now unveiled an algorithm capable of separating the signals. They say this achievement could revolutionize ultrasound imaging as well as sonar and marine echosounders.

Cell-Like Nanorobots Clear Bacteria and Toxins From Blood
Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed tiny ultrasound-powered robots that can swim through blood, removing harmful bacteria along with the toxins they produce. These proof-of-concept nanorobots could one day offer a safe and efficient way to detoxify and decontaminate biological fluids, the researchers say.

Smartphone App Counters Ultrasound-Based Spying
Ultrasound-derived “audio tracking” is commonly used to monitor the activity of smartphone and tablet users. Researchers in Austria have developed a countermeasure to prevent unwanted snooping: an app deemed the world’s first “ultrasound firewall.”

Ultrahigh Piezoelectricity Breakthrough Unveiled
Researchers have developed a new material with twice the piezo response of any existing commercial ferroelectric ceramics. A rare earth material, samarium, can dramatically enhance high-performance piezoelectric ceramics, and could have game-changing applications for ultrasound transducers, according to Nature Materials.
Worth Repeating
“When pivotal medical testimony on child abuse is contradictory, the message to the courts, the news media, and the general public about infant injuries and safe caregiving can be confusing and inaccurate. Denialism of child abuse has become a significant medical, legal, and public health problem. This article will help reestablish the science of abusive head trauma and will undoubtedly help children and their advocates around the world.”

Arabinda Choudhary, MD, of Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Delaware, regarding an evidence-based consensus statement published in Pediatric Radiology regarding head trauma in children
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In This e-Newsletter
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Team Perspective
In the hope that no red flag goes unheeded, industry professionals are communicating with health care team members at every stage—even after radiological services are rendered. Read more »

Traveling Companion
Recent advances in portability, clarity, battery technology, and cloud computing are being greeted warmly among imaging professionals, who are finding that ultrasound technology can be harnessed under novel circumstances and at substantial savings. Read more »

PET Projects
An uptick in AI-focused clinical research, which could herald a quantum leap forward in PET imaging, is catching the attention of nuclear medicine professionals. Read more »

Safety First
Despite an increased focus on MRI safety over the past decade, accidents still occur, sometimes with tragic consequences. We speak with some safety experts to outline best practices for the MRI suite. Read more »
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