Engine Grease and X-rays

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As a self-diagnosed autophile (defined by wikitionary as “an automobile enthusiast”) and amateur grease monkey living in So Cal, I am a firm believer in the therapeutic powers of an internal combustion engine. 

Feeling blue?  Take the motorcycle to Ortega highway.  Job got you stressed?  Palomar.  Solved.

It seems that science is backing up my faith in the internal combustion engine.  Mohammed R. Esmaeili-Rad and Sayeef Salahuddin, two UC Berkeley engineers, published in Scientific Reports a method of biomedical imaging which, according to LaserFocusWorld, speeds up the imaging process.  Current photodetectors in many biomedical imaging devices use amorphous silicon in photodetectors.  R&D reports that while absorbing light well and being relatively inexpensive, amorphous silicon is (by today’s standards) slow.  According to the publication, the Berkeley engineers found that pairing a thin film of MoS2 (molybdenum disulfide) with amorphous silicon increases performance–by 10 times.  The publication note that amorphous silicon photodetectors have a transient response time of about 3-5 ms whereas the MoS2 layered photodetectors can achieve transient response times of about 0.3 ms.

The question remanise, what is MoS2?  By itself, it is nothing more than a common and cheap internal combustion engine lubricant (available at many auto parts stores).  The publication notes that this happy marriage of automobile and biomedical technologies has the potential to dramatically increase x-ray detector frame rates from about 10-100 Hz to several kHz, and also notes that this could drastically shorten the necessary radiation exposure to obtain an x-ray thereby decreasing the potential health hazards of that radiation.

While great strides have been made towards supporting my faith in internal combustion engines, I’m still waiting for the day that there is a prescription Rx pad for a rear-wheel drive sports car.

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