Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More re low terahertz radiation scanning of mummies

The National (David Crossland)

Scientists in Germany and Switzerland have pioneered a new method of examining ancient mummies by using technology employed in airport body scanners.

The pilot project, conducted at the University of Freiburg in south-western Germany, could revolutionise the way in which the secrets of mummies such as Egypt’s King Tutankhamun are unlocked in future.

The low-level terahertz radiation used in new screening equipment currently being installed at airports around the world is particularly suited to scrutinising ancient tissue because it is far more gentle than X-ray scanning, the scientists said. Until now, researchers have resorted to X-raying mummies with CT scans, which can destroy DNA remnants because the rays can break apart molecules.

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