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July 16, 2001

Victoria Kushnir

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Phone: 650/604-0176 or 604-9000




State-of-the-art NASA imaging technologies that allow scientists to see through the surface of unexplored planets can now be used to explore the human body.

This and other highly sophisticated technologies and data management tools that may revolutionize medical imaging will be displayed during the NASA advanced technology workshop in Greenbelt, MD, July 17 and 18. The workshop, "New Partnerships in Medical Diagnostic Imaging," will be held at the Greenbelt Marriott Hotel.

"This workshop will showcase NASA technologies that can significantly enhance medical imaging and allow participants to explore potential commercial partnerships with the private sector," said Carolina Blake, chief of the Commercial Technology Office at NASA Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley.

"Last summer, our company partnered with NASA Ames to develop a breast cancer detection tool that would provide a less costly and less painful alternative to biopsy," reflected BioLuminate, Inc. president and CEO Richard Hular, who will speak at the workshop and share his success story. "In less than a year, this partnership took us from licensing the smart surgical probe developed by Dr. Robert Mah of Ames to testing our first original prototype," said Hular.

During the workshop, NASA centers will demonstrate a variety of innovations that have valuable medical applications. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, will introduce Solid State Image Detectors and Computing Hardware/Software Applications. NASA Ames will provide information about 3-D reconstruction software and digital image compression.

"ROSS 3D reconstruction software can be an extremely useful diagnostic, visualization and animation tool for imaging methods and reconstruction techniques," said Richard Boyle, director of Ames’ Center for Bioinformatics. Originally developed by Sterling Software and Dr. Muriel Ross, this software enables scientists and doctors to create a three-dimensional reconstruction of an object obtained from imaged sections or layers by physical, optical, sound or other means with the interactive aid of a computer.

DCTune is a computer technology that can enhance editing, storage and transmission of x-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and other medical images by advancing digital image compression. As a part of a larger program of human factors research at Ames, DCTune is a result of Dr. Andrew Watson’s research on visual perception and its application to coding, understanding and display of visual information. Based on a model of human vision, DCTune provides perceptual optimization of image compression.

"NASA is strongly committed to transferring innovative technologies from our research and development projects to the private sector. This event is another example of our on-going effort to commercialize NASA technology," said Blake.

Information about the Commercial Technology Office at NASA Ames is available at its web site at:



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