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Issue 468, 4 June 2001

Seeing inside the body

New advances in computer science are helping doctors see ‘inside’ the living human body, enabling clearer diagnosis and more effective treatment. These exciting developments form the subject of a video — Whatever became of X-rays? — by the school of computing and Leeds University television illustrating for lay audiences, particularly sixth-form students, the development of modern imaging techniques and their application.

The video shows methods of scientific imaging already in use by the medical professions, such as computer tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound, and considers the way 3D images are created, displayed and stored on computer. The film also features research projects currently under way at the University, creating virtual reality computer programs to assist in training surgeons for complex and delicate operations. The video is accompanied by an interactive website at

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