What does mud have to do with breast cancer?

Maybe more than you’d think. Randy should appreciate this. Today, Wired News ran a story titled Mine Buster Targets Breast Cancer. From the story:
A University of Nebraska scientist has developed a technology that makes undersea mud as clear as water, revealing deadly land mines. Now, she’s adapting the technique to detect a type of biological land mine — breast-cancer tumors.
While this is interesting, what I find of even more interest is the fact that she’s using existing technology from a seemingly unrelated field. The book "How Breakthroughs Happen", which I am reading and Randy has read, postulates that this is generally how breakthroughs occur: knowing about existing technology and having the foresight to see how it can be adapted for use in another field.

One comment

  1. This is a fantastic example of how someone can take an existing technology and make a new use for it. We do it in our homes every day – using a knife to open a bottle, or a piece of rubber non-stick to open a jar. This is just a technical extension of technology whose purpose is to look through soft material to find hard material. Very glad you saw that Trish!