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While most tv shows create fictional scientific advancements, one cool technology seen on CSI and CSI: Miami could have other practical real life applications.

A scientist reported in the 244th National Meeting & Exposition from the American Chemical Society, by which redOrbit is attending, that instant fingerprint analysis has the potential to help during nuclear physics and chemotherapy.

The “desorption electrospray ionization” mass spectrometer (DESI) continues to be featured on CSI and CSI: Miami as a tool used to analyze fingerprints. However, the instrument is able to do a lot more than the popular television series implies.

Graham Cooks, Ph.D., a Purdue university professor who led the study team, said he and his students happen to be in a position to carry it into grocery stores and employ it to detect pesticides and microorganisms on vegetables and fruit.

Also, the scientist said his team could identify biomarkers for prostate cancer, and detect melamine, that is a toxic substance that turned up in infant formulas in China in 2008, and in commercial dog food within the U.S. in 2007.

Cooks told reporters in the conference that the really important example DESI is able to be used to try to find out the disease state of human tissue.

There are over 125 kinds of brain tumors, and they’re very difficult to distinguish. In fact, Cooks said even pathologists don’t necessarily agree on every reading. Each year, there are nearly 23,000 new installments of brain tumors, and it causes 13,700 deaths a year.

“The main treatment for a brain tumor is surgery, would you like to get that right so you don’t have to go back again,” Cooks said throughout the press conference.

The way DESI could help out is as simple as taking a look at a sample of a brain tissue, and analyzing the data provided on the 3D scale, including mass, intensity and position.

Cooks said DESI looks at individual ions, along with computer is educated to recognize certain patterns from the tissue sample, take a look at unknown tissues and see whether there’s a particular tumor to determine all density, grade, and type.

When asked if this new usage of the tool can help lower costs, Cooks asserted although new technology generally raises costs, it could ultimately result in more effective diagnosis and coverings which could actually bring down a medical expense.

He said that DESI would not be replacing medical instruments already in use, but will be complimenting them.