Friday, February 29, 2008


The synchrotron light beam is up to 1,000 times brighter and more brilliant than standard infrared and X-ray lights. This intense light is produced when electrons moving close to the speed of light are directed by magnets, after leaving the storage ring, to the end work stations via a beam line.

The research team at the School of Biospectroscopy, Monash University was the first group to pioneer the use of synchrotron light on living organisms. One of their aims was to develop a diagnostic tool to probe the chemical structure and identify individual pre-cancerous cells of Cervical cancer.

Infrared spectroscopy uses synchrotron light shining through a single cell to obtain a spectrum that reveals its chemical composition. It gives all the biochemicals in a single cell in seconds. This is where the diagnosis of cervical cancer comes in. Cancer causes chemical changes in cells before they undergo morphological changes. This change is picked up in the spectra where it isn’t with the naked eye using a microscope.

The Papanicolou Test also know as a pap smear uses material from the cervix to test but this also contains many different types and stages of cells, red blood cells, white blood cells, bacteria, endocervical cells as well as cells already cancerous. This is the difference in this test, used now, and the test being developed that can identify a single cell before it becomes malignant. Researchers use a pattern recognition program to arrange spectra of tissue into recognisable groups. The program then creates a false colour picture of the cell and the cancer cell appears a different colour making them easy to recognise.

A diagnostic test of pre-cancerous cells. No testing of a cluster of cells already morphing into a tumour.

The Fermiscan test is also being trialed to confirm that breast cancer can be detected by
synchrotron X-ray diffraction of hair. The accuracy of diagnosis was 89%. The Fermiscan web page is full of information.


phil said...

you stole it. stole, yes. bloody Victorians.

it was ours, I tell you, all ours. "We had it in the bag, man, in the bag."

JahTeh said...

I tell you Phil, we Victorians are nothing if not generous. It is now called the Australian Synchrotron and can't be sold by any incoming (God forbid) Liberal Government.
Doesn't that make you feel all warm and fuzzy?
Anyway if it'd been built up there it would be under water by now. It's much safer with us.

Brian Hughes said...

I have a light around my ring too, but that's because the sun shines out of it.

JahTeh said...

I can't do it, I can't, I can't mention it, mustn't think it, too late.......*thinks eclipse* *barfs*

Brian Hughes said...

After that curry I had last night, I'm thinking meteor shower...

phil said...

As long as it'sot a comet, Brian.

JT, I understand that we continue to make some sort of contribution and in exchange we get to pro[el surplus scientists around the circuit at sub-atomic speeds.

Rendition? Got nothing on ue.

phil said...

OK then.

For "its'ot" read "it's not";

you can figure out "propel"

for "ue" read "us"

bloody alcohol

JahTeh said...

That's right Phil, show everyone why we couldn't leave the lovely synchrotron in Queensland.

As for Fleetwood's meteor shower, just aftershocks from the earthquake in Nth Yorkshire last week.

Brian Hughes said...


'ot or not (and after that curry it would be probably be the former) just be glad it's not Uranus. (Boom's the way I tell 'em.)

Anonymous said...

If Queensland had won it, they'd still be squabbling about the design. Brumby was the right man for the job of getting the thing happening. And as for the smart crack about a Liberal government selling it, Julie Bishop kicked in $50 million for half the first 5 years' running costs. What's Kim Il Carr going to do, eh? Oh that's right, set up a committee.

Yours in grrrrdom, Evil Bastard

JahTeh said...

Anon, I meant a Victorian Liberal Government. I was talking to one of the synchrotron scientists yesterday, who's had to chase all over the world for his work and his opinion is, that this is the best facility for his type of research in the world.