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New system sounds out osteoporosis

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

Audible sound may be more effective at diagnosing osteoporosis than X-rays, and safer too. Professor Andrew Dimarogonas of Washington University, St Louis, has applied a simple metalwork technique to diagnosing weak bones. A perfect object will ring when tapped but those with weaknesses or fractures clunk. Prof Dimarogonas' system uses a sonic probe and microphone to test a patient's bones. Reflected sound is fed to a PC which take about five minutes to analyse the bone's tendency to dampen sound - a sign of poor mechanical strength, says New Scientist.

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