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X-rays get boost from "dark field" technology


While it may not give you quite the graphic glimpse as some of the recent CT scanners we've seen, a group of researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark think their new and improved x-ray system still won't have any trouble catching on, and the results are certainly hard to argue with. The key to those sharper pics, it seems, is so-called "dark field microscopy," a technique that, as NewScientist points out, is normally used by biologists. As you might expect, however, there's some upsides and downsides to this particular technique. On the plus side, all that's needed is a simple set of four silicon filters in addition to some standard x-ray equipment. Unfortunately, those four filters mean you also have to take four separate images to get one clear image, giving the patient quite the extra dose of radiation. Even so, the researchers say there are some circumstances where that would be justified, including using the technology to give airport screeners a better peek at potential explosives.

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