MRI brain scans have recently been used to calibrate and corroborate the results of a new eye-scanning technique that can diagnose multiple sclerosis symptoms in just a few minutes. The technique, optical coherence tomography (OCT), scans the layers of nerve fibres in the retina to reveal nerve damage associated with the disease. The quick test will ultimately complement more detailed MRI studies of the brain when nerve damage is found an be useful in monitoring how effective treatment is. More on this in the latest issue of SpectroscopyNOW.com which goes live on November 1 (Sciencebase readers can get a sneak preview here)
Also, in the new issue, I discuss new research that could help pharmaceutical companies distinguish more easily between the different possible forms – polymorphs – of their products. The approach does not need to be used with a pure crystalline product and so works on formulated tablets. Researchers at the University of Warwick working with colleagues at Astra Zeneca have demonstrated that solid-state proton NMR spectroscopy can be used to crack the polymorphic secret of drugs by focusing on hydrogen atoms. The discovery could allow pharmaceutical companies to eradicate unwanted polymorphs from their formulations and so potentially improve drug efficacy and safety. Once again, you can get a sneak preview here
Also, in the new issue: A new grid technology that allows images from different analytical sources to be superimposed with high precision and so provide a mashup of X-ray fluorescence results on the inorganic components of a sample with an infrared image of the organic parts. The researchers who developed the technique say that their grid technology could be as useful in medical diagnostics and biomedical research as in environmental studies. More on this here.
Other research covered includes a study of bacteriophage DNA that could help explain how we get our mother’s eyes but not our father’s nose, and how Raman spectroscopy might explain the bacterial activity that is destroying ancient Italian frescoes – all on www.spectroscopynow.com