Staying alive

日期:2017-09-03 07:26:18 作者:霍醛 阅读:

By Harvey Black A CAT scanner developed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee is allowing researchers to watch the effects of a genetic mutation on the organs of a living animal. Called the MicroCAT, the scanner produces images at 10 times the resolution available with conventional CAT scanners. It uses X-ray detectors that are only 50 micrometres square, producing images showing detail down to 100 micrometres, according to Michael Paulus, who led the team that developed the system. Typically, CAT scanners for human subjects have detectors that are 1 millimetre square. Researchers have used the prototype developed at Oak Ridge to examine the internal organs and skeleton of sleeping mice that have a genetic mutation for obesity. “We can now identify where the fat deposits are, how big they are and how dense they are,” says Paulus. Until now, researchers have had to kill and dissect the mice to assess the fat deposits, he says. In a MicroCAT scanner for people, says Daniel Goldowitz, a neurobiologist at the University of Tennessee in Memphis,