Hair test cuts breast cancer errors


Detecting breast cancer from changes in the structure of hair could cut down false alarms from mammograms. The test bombards strands of hair with X-rays from a synchrotron particle accelerator. In hair from healthy people, the pattern produced by the X-rays is a series of arcs, while in people with breast cancer a distinctive ring is superimposed on top of the arcs. Though the test first showed promise in 1999 (Nature, vol 398, p 33), other researchers failed to repeat the results. Now Peter French and Gary Corino of the company Fermiscan in Sydney, Australia,
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