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Bel Marra Health Reports on a New Study: Software Originally Used for Star Gazing Now Being Used to Analyze Breast Cancer Tissue
Date:3/3/2013

As the Bel Marra Health article reads, according to a recent medical report published in the British Journal of Cancer, the analysis of stained tissues from patients with breast cancer may now be analyzed using an imaging software that was originally designed for star gazing. Astronomers are also faced with challenges involving visualization of tiny illuminated bodies in the vast, dark sky, often requiring powerful equipment to capture those stars and planets from afar. In turn, pathologists are also faced with challenges of detecting tiny stained proteins in breast tissues. Both areas of specialization thus need technologies that would help not only visualize small entities but also process these types of information in a rapid and reliable way.

The investigators employed the astronomy-based imaging software in screening approximately 2,268 breast cancer tissues that were previously subjected to standard tissue staining techniques. These tissues were analyzed using the same proteins, ER, HER2, and BCL2, and compared with the information generated from manual staining procedures.

The results of the study showed that the astronomical software provided the same screening precision in identifying the three proteins. More importantly, this star gazing software was able to process all the samples as a significantly faster rate than the manual approach.

The results of this study showed that this imaging software that was originally used for visualizing stars and planets might also be applied in the clinics. The information generated by this software is as reliable as that produced by manual microscopic analysis of stained tissues. Based on the rapid turnover of results of this new technology, it may thus be possible to analyze a larger number of tissues in a shorter amount of time; this may hopefully assist in the diagnosis of cancer and in the
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