New Technology to Check for Diseases Early

April 18, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. treatable 
[TREE-tuh-buh l] (adj.) – capable of being cured
Example: She was happy with the good news that her heart problem was treatable.
2. choir [kwahyuhr] (n.) – a group of singers
Example: We listened to the choir sing Christmas songs.

3. off-pitch [awf pich; of pich] (adj.) – not the correct pitch
Example: She was not accepted to the glee club because her singing was off-pitch.

4. severity [suh-VER-i-tee] (n.) – a measure of how bad or serious something is
Example: He needed medical help immediately because of the severity of the disease.

5. fingerprint [FING-ger-print] (n.) – something unique that can be used to identify a person or thing
Example: Each person has a DNA fingerprint unique only to him or her.

Read the text below.

Researchers from Ohio, USA have found a new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) method that could detect different diseases such as certain cancers and heart diseases earlier, when the diseases are most treatable.

According to the researchers, the new technology called Magnetic Resonance Fingerprinting (MRF) is an improved MRI that could be a part of a standard medical check-up. MRF can be done without the help of a radiologist (a doctor who analyzes data from medical image scans) because MRF is fast and less expensive.

Mark Griswold, a radiology professor at Case Western compared the MRI and MRF technologies to two different choirs.

He said that with the traditional MRI, members of the choir sing the same song, but some of them sing louder, softer or off-pitch.

Like the choir singing louder or softer, an MRI image has darker or brighter parts, showing areas of the body that may have problems. But even if doctors can see there is a problem, they cannot see the severity or cause of a problem just by looking at the MRI result.

MRF, however, is like a choir where each member sings a different song at the same time. MRF can better identify different diseases at once because it looks at the fingerprint of each tissue and disease inside the body.

Griswold thinks that with MRF, doctors can tell what the severity of the disease is and what is happening to parts of the body.

Doctors hope that over time they can add more data about different diseases into the MRF technology so that MRF can identify more illnesses.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         What do you think about the new technology that can check for diseases early in time
·         How can we encourage people to have a check-up regularly?

Discussion B

·         Are you amazed at what you can do with technology these days? Please explain your answer.
·         What kind of technology (device, software, etc.) is the most important to you?


April 18, 2013