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Comment Re:Diagnosis (Score 1) 72

I also should mention - They used MRI, not CT. Which doesn't change most of the arguments of the above post (3d reconstruction can be done on either modality, and can still be viewed with any imaging software, and is still pretty useless in clinical practice) and it also means that it would all be out of the question there was any question about if someone had gotten shot.

With regards to post mortems, as far as I know, there is no centre in the world doing routine MRIs for all post mortems. It's still a research tool, and there are even fewer people around able to report post mortem MRIs.

Comment Re:Diagnosis (Score 2, Insightful) 72

Don't forget how a CT scanner works: it effectively takes thousands of xrays in a 360 degree plane around the body at different slices through the body. Start at the head, 360 degrees around the area. Move the body down a bit, do the thorax, 360 degrees, etc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CT_scanner Actually, most of the tech you see on the screen has been available for years - as in, a lot of ct scanners can do a 3d reconstruction anyway. The images you see on that vid have been done for years, it's just the setup which is pretty slick and neat. You can pan and scan and manipulate the images like that using any radiology imaging software. In clinical practice, most people don't bother with fancy reconstructions, not because it's memory intensive, but because there's no point. It looks nice, but most of the answers you can get without doing a silly reconstruction. You'll often see it done for fractures. And, as someone has already mentioned, scans aren't without their risk. As that wikipedia points out, you get about 3x your yearly dose of radiation in that one scan. And as for coupling it with other scans, again, kinda done anyway. But if you suspect someone has some pathology that needs a scan, you normally just pick the right scan for the job instead of taking a shotgun approach to the whole thing. It's cost and time intensive.

And as for replacing the autopsy, hmmm. For about 10 years the Swiss have been trying to come out with virtual autopsies, heralding it as the way of the future http://www.virtopsy.com/ The guy offers courses on how to use a CT scanner instead of an autopsy. The storage and memory problems not withstanding, there's also the cost of the systems, and the fact that there are very few radiologists worldwide who would be willing to take a 300k a year paycut to report on a bunch of corpses when pathologists have been doing the job for about 1/10th the cost for years. It's shown to be useful in very limited situations, including identification of remains in mass disasters... but again as a day to day tool, it's pretty hard to justify the cost. As far as I know, there are less than 10 forensic centres performing routine CT autopsies, none of which are based in the States. Albuquerque will probably be the first. Melbourne, Victoria does it, and probably has the highest throughput of any institute I've seen, but it really doesn't affect outcomes very much (ie, the person's still dead).

What this is basically is a really nice teaching tool that can help people learn a bit about human anatomy. It would be great in museums and the odd medical library.

Comment Re:"Excited Delirium" (Score 1) 816

You laugh, but they've actually done experiments like this on pigs:

Taser dart-to-heart distance that causes ventricular fibrillation in pigs.
IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2007 Mar;54(3):503-8.

With "These results suggest[ing] that the probability of a dart on the body landing in 1 cm2 over the ventricle and causing VF is 0.000172."

Completely sponsored by Taser, in all likelihood...

And yeah, it is absurd, but Tasers being contributory to death rarely makes it on the certificate. It usually gets left off becaue of all that legal pressure. This was the only case where it really happened and shit really hit the fan: Scott Denton is probably one of the more reknowned Pathologists in the USA too... http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/0730taser30.html?&wired


Submission + - CBS to give Jericho a Second Chance

TobyRush writes: After being deluged by e-mails, phone calls, and salty snacks, CBS has reconsidered its decision to cancel the apocolyptic serial drama 'Jericho'. Worthy of note is a point made by the series' executive producer, Carol Barbee, referencing the series' online episode availability:

"I really think that what has been learned here is that networks are going to have to look at numbers and who is watching their show and who is downloading their show in a different way from here on out. I think they have to understand that the Nielsens are not telling the story anymore and that the 18-49 demographic they're all so keen on is online and that's how increasingly they are getting their news and entertainment."
Better yet is CBS President Nina Tassler's postscript: 'Please stop sending us nuts.'

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