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Largest physics meeting of the year: March 20-25, 2011, Dallas, Texas
Date:2/9/2011

races left behind by tools and paints that are invisible to the naked eye. High resolution images can be created from XRF scans in minutes to hours. After starting with ancient Greek and Roman objects, the physicists turned recently to imaging Mayan artifacts. On one piece of Mayan pottery, black paint was partially obscured by a layer of black crud. Using XRF imaging, the researchers revealed the original pattern of paint by identifying and isolating chemicals specific to the paint. The team can do the same to reveal one layer of paint underneath another. Unlike some other techniques, no special sample environment is required for XRF imaging and objects of different sizes, ranging from a small chip to an eight-foot-tall stone tablet, can be imaged. XRF imaging is also non-destructive because it does not require a sample to be removed from an artifact. The technique allows archaeologists to see what the eye cannot, opening the door to future breakthroughs in understanding ancient civilizations.
W21.00013 http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR11/Event/143057

NANO-SCALE VIEW COULD AID IN EARLY CANCER DETECTION

A recently-developed technique to analyze swabbed samples of cells could provide early lung, colon, ovarian, pancreatic, and esophageal cancer detection. Vadim Backman of Northwestern University will give a talk about an optical technique, called partial wave spectroscopic (PWS) microscopy, that can reveal the cancerous breakdown of cells at the nano-scale level. By zooming in very close, PWS can detect the signature of cancer in the disarray of a single cell's nucleus. Like detecting a home's risk of earthquake damage by spying cracks in the brickwork, PWS can detect the onset of cancer from the disorder at the heart of a cell, which occurs long before other outward signs of cancer develop. A recent small-scale trial showed promise for early detection using PWS when lung ca
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Contact: James Riordon
riordon@aps.org
301-209-3238
American Physical Society
Source:Eurekalert

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