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The researchers tested their technique on a Cardinal tetra, a tiny iridescent fish commonly found in fish tanks and aquariums. The conventional X-ray image showed the bones and the gut of the fish, while the phase-contrasted image showed details of the fins, the ear and the eye.
Dr Pfeiffer's technique would thus appear to offer a way to get much greater detail for the same amount of radiation exposure. Moreover, since it uses standard hospital equipment, it should be easy to introduce into medical practice. X-rays may no longer be the stuff of Nobel prizes, but their usefulness may just have increased significantly.
SOURCE: The Economist
<<The Economist -- 04/03/06>>