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X-rays power discoveries at Chicago's Field Museum
Date:5/7/2008

CHICAGO, IL, and ROCHESTER, N.Y., May 7 Digital medical imaging and information technology from Carestream Health, Inc., is playing a key role in helping The Field Museum of Chicago discover and analyze secrets hidden within its world-class collections.

Carestream Health has donated a computed radiography (CR) system that enables The Field Museumfor the first timeto capture, archive and share digital x-ray images from more than one million priceless specimens and artifacts in its Anthropology collection. The Field Museum is also using a picture archiving and communications system (PACS) from Carestream Health for the management, viewing and storage of the growing collection of digital images managed by the museums staff.

The availability of this advanced x-ray system will have tremendous benefits not only for research, but also for management of our collections, said Robert D. Martin, the A. Watson Armour III Curator of Biological Anthropology at The Field Museum. Non-invasive visualization of specimens and artifacts can yield valuable new scientific information, and it can also provide crucial indications for proper conservation of specimens in our care.

Images of an ancient Egyptian mummy demonstrate how digital images are superior to film images. Recently captured digital images have revealed a previously unknown erosion of the parietal lobes in the mummys skull. This could indicate the presence of parasites, anemia or malnourishment shortly before death. Similarly, curators will be looking for signs of spinal cord deterioration in other specimens, which could be a sign of tuberculosis.

The nice part about this new digital equipment is that it is very fast and the images are so sharp, said J.P. Brown, Conservator, Anthropology, The Field Museum. This system allows us to do in a day what it used to take a week to accomplish.

The CR system has already led to new discoveries, Brown added. A digital image of the pelvis of the
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Contact: Greg Borzo
gborzo@fieldmuseum.org
312-665-7106
Field Museum
Source:Eurekalert  

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