Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Star Trek Surgery Via Ultrasound? Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas
(Image: Star Trek Tricorder, Credit: Paramount, via SpaceRef)

If someone is sick and in need of surgery, all they would need to do is call the nearest doctor or check into the emergency room.

In space, future colonists may not be as fortunate, as having open surgery may be the last thing anyone wants done as the risk for infection may be high, especially with a weakened immune system (thanks to micro gravity).

Fortunately it seems a new device by scientists may allow doctors to perform surgery on the human body without ever "cutting anyone open."

(SpaceRef) Engineers at the University of Washington are working with Harborview doctors to create new emergency treatments right out of Star Trek: a tricorder type device using high-intensity focused ultrasound rays. This summer, researchers published the first experiment using ultrasound to seal punctured lungs. [...]

High-intensity focused ultrasound is now being investigated for a number of different treatments. It promises "bloodless surgery" with no scalpels or sutures in sight. Doctors would pass a sensor over the patient and use invisible rays to heal the wound. Researchers are exploring the use of high-intensity focused ultrasound - with beams tens of thousands of times more powerful than used in imaging - for applications ranging from numbing pain to destroying cancerous tissue.

Future colonists on the moon and Mars would probably enjoy this technology, as it would enable doctors to operate on individuals without the need for metallic cutting tools, or expensive lasers.

Although yet untested on humans, the results are promising to open up a whole new field of treating wounds, which would benefit not only those on Earth, but astronauts orbiting above it as well.

Want more space geek news? Then subscribe below via email, RSS or twitter for free updates!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Prefer another service? How about via RSS or follow Colony Worlds on Twitter!

No comments:

Post a Comment

You can either visit the stars or watch them from afar.

But if you choose the former, you'll definitely get a better view.

~Darnell Clayton, 2007

Note: You do not need a Blogger account in order to comment, but you do need to solve the universal puzzle below.