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    Most people have heard of imaging technology like MRIs. They’re able to take “pictures” of our insides so that doctors can help us figure out what’s wrong. But, new technologies and research is uncovering novel uses for existing technology, as well as new technology that replaces the old.

    Here’s what some of the best minds have discovered.

    A New Discovery

    Researchers have come up with a way to use a new imaging platform to map lipid metabolism in living cells. This discovery shows where cholesterol is stored and points toward more studies in obesity, diabetes, even longevity.

    The imaging approach makes it possible to quantify the storage of cholesterol, as well as de-saturation and oxidation of lipids. This means that it might reduce the ability of cells to use insulin.

    According to Ji-Xin Cheng, a professor in Purdue University’s Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering and Department of Chemistry, this represents a major advancement in imaging technology.

    The research was done with live roundworms called C. elegans, which are used to study the impact of lipid metabolism on aging and disease. Because the worm is transparent, researchers can see what’s going on inside it in real time. Imagine that. Researchers are able to analyze the effects of something while it’s happening.

    The findings are detailed in a research paper that appears in the journal Angewandte Chemie. The paper, authored by Ping Wang, Bin Liu and Delong Zhang; University of Massachusetts (UM) Medical School doctoral student Micah Y. Belew; Heidi A. Tissenbaum, a professor in the UM Medical School’s Program in Gene Function and Expression/Program in Molecular Medicine; and Cheng outlines the significance of their findings.

    This kind of technology has far-reaching implications. It could be used in a medical setting, or even in the dentist’s office. Right now, people who have a hard time paying for professional medical or dentistry attention use services like Carefreedental.com. But, they often must go back frequently when a medical problem is unknown or undiagnosed.

    With this technology, it could improve diagnosis time, saving patients money.

    The researchers use an imaging platform called hyperspectral stimulated Raman scattering microscopy. It can identify and track molecules by measuring their vibrational spectrum using a laser.


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