OK, I admit it. When I was a kid I was into Star Trek (even had a picture of the starship Enterprise on my wall). Not the Star Trek movies or the newfangled “Next Generation” or “Deep Space 9” series, but the original series first broadcast in the 1960s. I was fascinated by the transporters, flip-top communicators, and medical “tricorder” that was waved over the patient by Doctor McCoy (called “Bones” by the future Iowan Captain Kirk) to make a medical diagnosis in seconds.
Fast forward 45 years … I am still waiting on the transporters, but Star Trek’s flip-top communicators seem quaint compared to today’s smart phones. How about the medical tricorder? We have CT, MRI and PET scanners that were not on the starship Enterprise radar screen 45 years ago. This week, at the University of Iowa, we rolled out another type of medical test that goes even further into the “final frontier” of molecular medicine. Continue reading