Stories tagged CT scan

Road trip!

by Liza on Oct. 28th, 2010

Kinda.

The Science Museum's mummy will be taking a little trip to Children's Hospital tomorrow afternoon to undergo a CT scan. We hope to come away from the scan with a 3D model of the mummy’s inner workings and new clues that reveal more details about his life, a more precise age and cause of death. The results will be developed into new interpretative tools that will make their debut in the months leading up to the opening of the King Tut exhibition.

Thanks to the cooperation of Ed Fleming, our collections services staff and the staff at Children's, we've been granted permission to invite media to photograph the mummy as he's prepped for scanning tomorrow. He's become quite a sensation already, with more to come:

The Science Museum mummy to get a CT scan

Science Museum mummy to undergo CT scan

Science Museum mummy to get CT scan

WCCO-AM will also be airing an interview with Ed Fleming about the project during news breaks today and tomorrow.

Stay tuned.

Feb
16
2010

What's wrong with Tut?: CT scans and DNA tests conducted over the past two years have uncovered several major problems that contributed to King Tut's death: malaria, broken leg, a club foot and restricted blood flow to Tut's left foot.
What's wrong with Tut?: CT scans and DNA tests conducted over the past two years have uncovered several major problems that contributed to King Tut's death: malaria, broken leg, a club foot and restricted blood flow to Tut's left foot.Courtesy Sanandreas
Being a boy king of Egypt had it’s share of downs along with all the gold and glitter.

CT scans and DNA testing conducted on the mummy to King Tutankhamun (King Tut for short) show that the boy pharaoh was suffering from several medical problems at the time of his death at age 19.

The contemporary medical testing shows that Tut had a cleft palate and a club foot and was suffering from malaria and a broken leg at the time that he died some 3,300 years ago. The results were announced today and will be published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Medical experts have also been able to untangle the web of intrigue as to who Tut’s parents were, sort of. DNA shows that Tut is the son of the previous pharaoh, Akhenaten, and his likely mother is an unidentified sister of Akhenaten. In total, 16 mummies underwent CT scanning to get a better picture of who Tut was and what the times were like when he was alive.

The 21st Century testing was able to answer more than half of Tut’s paternity questions by identifying his father. And while we know that Akhenaten’s sister was Tut’s mother, her mummified remains confirm Tut’s DNA, her identity is still unknown. It was not uncommon in New Kingdom Egypt for pharaohs to marry to their sisters.

The findings put to bed once and for all long-held speculation that Tut was murdered. That idea was fueled by a hole in his skull, but a 2005 scan of Tut’s mummy showed that hole was made as part of the mummification process.

The majesty that we associated with Tut based on the ornate furnishings found in his burial chamber may be a far cry from what life was like for the finals days of the boy king. The medical testing shows that Tut was a sickly teen who was done in by complications from the broken leg and malaria in his brain.

On top of that, Tut had a club foot that likely required him to use a cane. In fact, 130 canes or walking sticks have been found among his burial goods, with some of the canes showing wear and tear. Tut also suffered from Kohler's disease in which lack of blood flow was slowly destroying the bones of his left foot.

Another theory cleared up through the medical tests: Tut did not suffer from any medical conditions that would have given him female body characteristics or misshapen bones.

Want to learn more? Here’s a Q&A with Egyptologist Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, about the new Tut findings.

And here is even more in-depth coverage from National Geographic.

Bummed out that Tut was so sickly and need a pick-me-up? Do you really need a shot of Steve Martin's "King Tut" song right now? Enjoy (with a special guest appearance by Fonzie [aka Henry Winkler]). Maybe Steve needs to add a new verse to include all this new medical information.


Barbie meets Skelatar: Here's what a CT scan of Christmas Barbie looks like, one of many everyday objects that have been scanned using the medical technology for a new art form.Courtesy Satre Stuelke
CT scanners provide a great way to see what's wrong inside our bodies. And one CT technician has found it to be a great new art medium. Check out this gallery of CT scan art.

Oct
26
2006

A cancerous growth in a windpipe.: Photo courtesy of District of Columbia Dept. of Health.
A cancerous growth in a windpipe.: Photo courtesy of District of Columbia Dept. of Health.

A new study has shown that examining patients with CAT scanners can drastically improve their chances for surviving lung cancer. Cancer is easier to treat when doctors catch it early, and CAT scans can detect cancerous growths much smaller than normal x-rays.

Lung cancer is the #1 killer in America. If caught early, a patient normally has about a 70% chance of living another ten years. In this study, that 10-year survival rate climbed to about 90%. Unfortunately, in most cases lung cancer is not detected until it has already started to spread, at which point the survival rate drops to 5%. The great advantage of this procedure is that it catches the cancer at a much earlier, more treatable stage.

Some researchers question the methods used in the study. A second, larger study is now underway to confirm the benefit of this procedure.