New "tricorder" technology might be able to "hear" tumors growing

A new technology has promise to safely find buried plastic explosives and maybe even spot fast-growing tumors. The technique involves the clever interplay of microwaves and ultrasound to develop a detector like the Star Trek tricorder. Stanford engineers are using microwaves and ultrasound to create a safe and portable way to detect hidden objects. When Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy needs to diagnose an ill member of the Starship Enterprise, he simply points his tricorder device at their body and it identifies their malady without probing or prodding. Similarly, when Capt. Kirk beams down to an alien world, his tricorder quickly analyzes if the atmosphere is safe to breathe. Now Stanford electrical engineers have taken the latest step toward developing such a device through experiments detailed in Applied Physics Letters and presented at the International Ultrasonics Symposium in Taipei, Taiwan.”