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Scientists create ‘Google Maps’ for human body


Melbourne, March 31:  A revolutionary imaging technology can create a zoomable ‘Google map’ of the body and could prove to be a game-changer for medicine, scientists say.

Researchers are using previously top-secret semiconductor technology to zoom through organs of the human body, down to the level of a single cell.

The imaging technology, developed by high-tech German optical and industrial measurement manufacturer Zeiss, was originally developed to scan silicon wafers for defects.

Researchers from the University of New South Wales are using the semiconductor technology to explore osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

Using Google algorithms, Professor Melissa Knothe Tate – an engineer and expert in cell biology and regenerative medicine – is able to zoom in and out from the scale of the whole joint down to the cellular level “just as you would with Google Maps,” reducing to “a matter of weeks analyses that once took 25 years to complete.”

Her team is also using cutting-edge microtome and MRI technology to examine how movement and weight bearing affects the movement of molecules within joints, exploring the relationship between blood, bone, lymphatics and muscle.



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