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The Importance of Breastfeeding April 29, 2008

Posted by tomography in Off Topic.

Breastfeeding.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.Every now and then a topic pops-up that has nothing to do with diagnostic imaging, but is one that I still feel has a place on these pages, because as a medical student I believe that I am obliged to shine some light on certain aspects of medicine again and again. One such aspect is the importance of breastfeeding.
Today, the Department of Gynecology at the University of Debrecen Medical and Health Science Center was the location for an important initiative called Breastfeeding Awareness Day. This event was organized and carried out by my fellow medical students with the help of the local Student Body and the nurses from Gynecology. Mothers and soon-to-be mothers from the city of Debrecen were invited to attend an hour long musical performance and a short lecture on the importance of breastfeeding. The event was opened and closed by Zoltán Tóth, head of Gynecology at at my University who at the end of the night reiterated the importance of breastfeeding with the following slide that I translated for you. You are welcome to use this slide, but all the information presented here is the sole work of the above mentioned author, and as such I am not in the position to answer any questions regarding that. I only take credit for taking pictures of the newborn babies, and some technical help with the slide show.

The advantages of breastfeeding:
1. From the baby’s point of view:
– smaller morbidity and mortality
– less pulmonary and middle ear canal infection
– less digestive problems
– less prone to allergies
– less chance for diabetes
– less chance for malignant tumors
– higher IQ
– more beautiful face
– better teeth
– better vision
– faster and better speech development
– more harmonic baby-mother relationship

2. From the mother’s point of view:
– the involution of the uterus is faster
– less chance for premenopausal breast cancer
– less chance for anemia
– less chance for osteoporosis
– less chance for ovarian cancer

I must tell you, it makes me feel great to think back how delighted some of the new mothers were to see their babies’ faces projected onto a large screen in front of a large audience.

– Andras

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Home Improvement For Geneticists April 17, 2008

Posted by tomography in Genetics, Off Topic.
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At the moment my brain is dried by a 20 page psychiatry case history, so I decided to look up from my monitor and rest my eyes on my surroundings. That is when I realized that I never blogged about my DNA! That’s right, I got my very own DNA standing right in my living room. I have had this piece of Art for about 5 years now. It is about 2 meters tall, 30 centimeters wide, made of an inch thick hot-dipped galvanized steel, and it weighs about 10 kilograms. So it is a heavy beast, but it is great for many purposes.

For one, I like to watch people’s reactions when they come visit. Trust me, some do not even recognize the shape, not even my own medical student friends! Second, it is great to hang my cloths on, and third according to Feng-Shui it brings about positive energies to my home. Who would have though that the good old DNA holds such powers, right?

This DNA was custom made (you can’t buy one at IKEA:), so I cannot tell where you can buy your own, in case you are interested in doing so, but I can give you some pictures to enjoy. I will let you know when I put it on Ebay so that you can bid on it. I will tell you this, however; since I would like to be a diagnostic imaging professional one day, I will trade this DNA to a patient bed taken from either a CT or MRI scanner, or something similarly weird that has to do something with imaging.

Staying at this DNA topic, I looked around the Web for more DNA Art. There is a lot of junk that people want to associate with the molecule of life, but I think that the following are worth a look:

DNA Tower A whole tower of DNA!?

Sample spiral design Handsome staircase!

dnaRing.jpg For the love of your life!

– Andras

Remodelling @ Tomographyblog.com April 10, 2008

Posted by tomography in Off Topic.
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Dear Readers!

As you might have noticed, Tomographyblog.com has been going under some changes lately. At the dawn of the Blog’s first birthday, we try to better tailor the site’s content to the readers needs. You may find three new pages on the blog:

Our Forum page is dedicated to a collection of rare clinical cases collected by us or submitted by radiologists and nuclear medicine specialists from all over the world. Here you will find our Picture of the week and Rare Cases series. You are more than welcome to submit your own cases here!

Our Tech page has some technological information that might help the everyday life of the diagnostic imaging professional.

Imaging 2.0 is a collection of Web 2.0 tools that will help you find, and track reliable, quality information faster.

I hope that you find these new additions useful. Please, let us know what you think.

– Andras

Flick’r misses tomography February 29, 2008

Posted by tomography in CT, MRI, Off Topic, Radiology, Tomography, web 2.0, X-ray.
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We’ve been posting some really great tools (this and this too -András’s great collection) you can use at your work. One of them was Flick’r, so it’s not the first time you can read about it on our blog, and I’m sure it’s not the last. Surfing this huge base of pictures, I was searching for any groups dealing with radiology or nuclear medicine.

The best way to store, search, sort and share images.

flickr logo

Honestly I wasn’t that successful. Xray is quite popular, but no PET, SPECT images. I think doctors haven’t discovered the great potential, Flick’r provides, yet.

Here are some examples on Flickr Groups about radiology:

  • RadsWiki made by a radiology residental in NYC and the webmaster of for his radiology wiki
  • Nasty xray
  • Real radiology A great radiology group with more than 450 photos detailed!
  • Orthopaedic image library The name tells what it’s about.
  • MRI
  • Tomography Tomographic images of any kind, including but not limited to MRI, PET, and plain old X-ray CT. Photos of the equipment and people used to make the images is fine in limited amounts, but the main focus is the tomographic images.
  • Biopsy Feel free to add imaging of any radiology-guided biopsy procedure.
  • The Bassett Collection: The Basset Collection, which now belongs to Stanford University’s School of Medicine, is the definitive dissection collection available to medical students and instructors. These incredibly detailed dissections show and label most every part of the human body, from its tiniest veins, arteries and nerves to serial cross-sections of the spinal cord.

Hopefully, the number of pictures about radiology or even nuclear medicine will grow exponentially in the near future e.g. at Flickr. It would be useful for students as well, as they cannot always go and see these pics.


    Xray goes digital February 26, 2008

    Posted by tomography in CT, development, Off Topic, Radiology, What tomorrow brings?, X-ray.

    After a long break I returned to one of my beloved hobbies, photography. I was very happy when my brand new DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera arrived. Coming back wasn’t that easy, though I had years of practice with SLR and lately used more digital compacts too. The development, we went through is remarkable, let it be hardware, software, quality, ease of use or techniques. One dealing with digital photography really has to know more than the basis and should be up to date, to create the best pictures. So I ran over some wikis…

    One really fundamental thing is the image sensor, as there is no film. Sensors works as film. This is a digital light sensitive flan – a photoelectric sensor, which perceives the quantity of light coming through the lens, and then forwards this essential information as pixels to the processor. So it’s obvious why companies emphasize developing better and better sensors.

    cmosMaybe you heard of these, like CCD (charge-coupled device) or CMOS (complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor). CCD is an analog shift register, enabling analog signals (electric charges) to be transported through successive stages (capacitors) controlled by a clock signal.

    Basicaly there are two groups of image sensors (IS). CCD-CMOS and CCD-NMOS (n-channel metal-oxide-semiconductor). In weekdays we call them -not so accurately- CCD and CMOS. Each has unique strengths and weaknesses giving advantages in different applications. Neither is categorically superior to the other, although vendors selling only one technology have usually claimed otherwise. The difference between these two is in the manufacturing process. Both types of imagers convert light into electric charge and process it into electronic signals. In a CCD sensor, every pixel’s charge is transferred through a very limited number of output nodes (often just one) to be converted to voltage, buffered, and sent off-chip as an analog signal. All of the pixel can be devoted to light capture, and the output’s uniformity (a key factor in image quality) is high. In a CMOS sensor, each pixel has its own charge-to-voltage conversion, and the sensor often also includes amplifiers, noise-correction, and digitization circuits, so that the chip outputs digital bits. With each pixel doing its own conversion, uniformity is lower. But the chip can be built to require less off-chip circuitry for basic operation. Both CCD and CMOS imagers can offer excellent imaging performance when designed properly. CCD and CMOS will remain complementary. The choice continues to depend on the application and the vendor more than the technology.

    The reason I wrote about ISs was the creation of The University of Sheffield, namely large and sensitive CMOS sensors for the next generation of X-ray based imaging systems.

    Easier to use and faster than the imagers used in current body scanners, and with very large active pixel sensors with an imaging area of approximately 6cm square, the technology has been specifically developed to meet demanding clinical applications such as x-ray imaging and mammography. This silicon imager is about 15 times larger in area than the latest Intel processors. The next step of the project is to produce wafer-scale imagers which can produce images that approach the width of the human torso. This will eliminate the need for expensive and inefficient lenses and so enable lower-cost, more sensitive and faster medical imaging systems.

    These sensors were developed by the CMOS Sensor Design Group at STFC´s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in association with the University of Sheffield and University College London.

    5 weird scientific experiments: From two-headed dogs to beheading rats February 19, 2008

    Posted by tomography in Off Topic.
    Tags: , , , ,

    Tomographyblog.com is a site dedicated to radiology and nuclear medicine, but we are still information hungry medical students, therefor we cannot ignore other areas of science. So today, I would like to share a couple interesting medical experiments with you that our forefathers committed, because, at the core of scientific development lies research. I would like to warn you ahead of time, that some of the writings and videos featured in this post may be disturbing to some, so do not turn the lights off when viewing these.

    1. Let us start it off by Ian Oswald, a British psychiatrist, who conducted most of his research in the realm of sleep. In the famous 1960 may 14th article titled Falling Asleep Open-eyed During Intense Rhythmic Stimulation (free to download) that was published in the British Medical Journal, Oswald explains that he fixed his subject’s eyelids open with adhesive tape, and he did the following: he directed very bright light into his subjects’ eyes; he sent an electric current into their legs; and finally he made them listen to very loud blues music. Two of his three subjects were severely sleep deprived and only one got adequate sleep the night before the experiment, but surprisingly all three were sleeping according to the EEG 12 minutes into the experiment. What is the conclusion? Oswald concluded that monotonity might have been the answer to his findings, such that explains why we may fall asleep, even if for seconds, while driving on a long straight stretch of highway.

    'Sleep' Ian Oswald

    2. Carney Landis, a graduate student in psychology at the University of Minnesota set out to find out if emotions evoked characteristic facial expressions. He exposed his subjects to a variety of stimuli designed to provoke a strong emotional reaction. For instance, he made them smell ammonia, listen to jazz, look at pornographic pictures and put their hand into a bucket of frogs. As they reacted to each stimulus, he snapped pictures of their faces. The climax of the experiment arrived when Landis carried in a live white rat on a tray and asked them to decapitate it. Interestingly 2/3s of his subjects carried out his instructions! Does this sound all too familiar to you? If so, read on!

    3. Indeed! The Milgram experiment: watch it!

    4. Here is a great experiment conducted by the U.S. Army. In the 1960s while on a training flight at an altitude of 5000 feet the pilot notified all passengers that they were to make an emergency landing. A stewards distributed some papers for the passengers that they were asked to fill out just in case they were to die the Army wanted to make sure it was covered for the loss. Not surprisingly, the soldiers had a very hard time filling out the papers. When all of them turned in their papers, they were told that the emergency landing was only a joke.

    5. But there was no joke to Vlagyimir Demikov’s research. During the dark ages of the Cold War he created a creature in a lab at the Moscow Institute of Surgery by grafting the head, shoulders and front legs of a puppy onto the neck of a mature German shepherd. When one “dog” wanted to eat, the other ate, and when the other “dog” drank so did the first one. You must realize that joining of nerve endings at the time was not possible so the dog whose head was operated on to the whole dog could not control their common body, but it was fully functional from the neck up. These dogs could not live long, and most died after a week or so. Demikov created 19 such dogs before terminating his experiments. Here are two shocking must see videos on this topic:

    This blog entry was done using Flock from beginning to end! Try it yourself today.

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    Work Your Magic February 12, 2008

    Posted by tomography in Off Topic, Vector graphics.
    Tags: , , , , , ,

    Vector images (not Vexel) have revolutionized computer graphics because they are so versatile, easy to use, and because they can be scaled without loss of image quality! Vector images are not made up of pixels, but they are mathematical representations of an image, therefor they can be manipulated easily, and generally do not take up as much disc space. There are several (expensive) programs on the market that allow you to trace (convert a bitmap to a vector) an image, for example Corel Trace, Adobe Illustrator, Xara Xtreme, but none of these match the tracing power of a yet free software from Stanford called Vector Magic. If you don’t believe us, take a look at the comparison chart, and watch the video where you are given a comprehensive tour of the program. You simply go on their website, upload your image, and in a couple minutes you may save the result from the site free of charge! How could vector images be important to the everyday user? You may use the traced image to print on paper, clothes, or you could use it to create Flash or simple web graphics.


    But readers of this site are not graphic designers, so let us take a look at how a diagnostic imaging professional might use this program. I chose a nice wrist X-ray for my test.

    (Original JPEG image; 116Kb)


    (Vectorized image in PNG output format; 84Kb)

    I did not tweak the image in any way, this is just a simple trace with Vector Magic. I believe that if you were to see this image in Second Life or Trauma Center, you would be pleased with the quality. You could now take this image, import it into Corel Draw or any other graphic suite, and then really work you magic! I will do so and post the result soon, but I would also be interested in your graphics! We might do a competition soon, so stay tuned!

    TheLancetStudent.com January 30, 2008

    Posted by tomography in Off Topic, web 2.0.
    Tags: ,


    Here is another great web 2.0 tool, but this time only for medical students. Check out www.thelancetstudent.com, a site created by medical students for medical students. Beyond the fact that it is the virtual little brother of the prestigious journal, The Lancet, it offers some great content including blog entries, podcasts, summaries of each issue of The Lancet, a reading room with free downloadable content, and a wealth of online resources!

    We aim to help you get more involved in global health in a number of ways, for example, by including thought-provoking and informative messages in our daily blog, providing teaching materials in global health, summarising relevant content from the weekly issue of The Lancet especially for you, and organising votes and polls. BUT we can’t do it without your involvement.

    So why not get involved in this unique project? Did you know that you can write and get your article published on thelancetstudent.com?! Your writing will not only be available on a distinguished site but you may also receive a free online subscription to thelancet.com. What are you waiting for?


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