When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

14 January 2008

Malignant symphony

Berger has been working with cancer researchers and mathematicians on non-invasive ways to detect cancer. Instead of doing a biopsy, you can do things like medical [sic] resonance imaging, also known as MRIs. But the problem is that MRIs give you so much information, it's hard to know what to do with it. In a visual form, it's virtually impossible to separate the important data from the meaningless stuff.

So, Berger assigned different sounds to different data points. "Imagine there's an orchestra of one hundred players, and each of those points is mapped to one of those orchestra players," he says. Essentially, he's creating a symphony based on the information contained in the cells. And our ears can tell the difference between a benign symphony, which is a low, pulsing beat...

And then there's a tinnier, more bell-like, malignant symphony...

The Sound of Cancer, and Golf - Weekend America (American Public Media)

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