FEATURES GE scientists on verge of disease detection breakthrough

Scientists are working to make it easier to spot diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s early.

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She’s talking about colorful images of tissue samples at the cellular level -- under a microscope. play

She’s talking about colorful images of tissue samples at the cellular level -- under a microscope.

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On the verge of a new breakthrough at GE Global Research. Scientists are working to make it easier to spot diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s early.

The work is being featured in a new series on the National Geographic Channel.

“We look at these images and we go ‘Wow, we're the only people who've ever seen it like this image before. What does it mean?’” explained Fiona Ginty of GE Global Research.

She’s talking about colorful images of tissue samples at the cellular level -- under a microscope.

Eight years ago, Ginty and her team came up with an idea to improve that image. Instead of one or two levels of information... The new image displays multiple levels -- making it easier to figure out how cells interact.

“How cells are responding to each other and how that might create a complete picture with respect to understanding disease, process and aging,” said Ginty.

It requires several disciplines, including biology, chemistry, optics and some serious computer power.

“We're applying computer science. That's analyzing hundreds of millions of data points. Assembling that into something that's meaningful,” noted Ginty.

Meaningful for researchers and physicians.

Ginty's work is being featured in a new National Geographic series called “Breakthrough,” -- highlighting scientific discoveries and innovations on the brink of changing the world. Ginty says it's the kind of exposer that will get young students more excited about science, technology engineering and math.

“More people are talking about science. There's more programs on TV like breakthrough, the National Geographic show,” she pointed out.

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