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An unusual NASA ‘Spinoff’ partnership

A project involving researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of USC and scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory was one of the agency’s successful partnerships in 2004, according to NASA’s “Spinoff.”

The project, led by neurological surgeon Peter Gruen and research fellow and lead scientist Babak Kateb, is investigating the use of JPL’s infrared camera for the intraoperative mapping of brain tumors. The USC researchers are testing whether they can better delineate tumor margins by detecting temperature differences between tumor and normal brain tissue, since tumor cells are believed to emit more heat than healthy ones – information that can be revealed by the infrared camera.

“Spinoff,” an annual publication, has featured between 40 and 50 successfully commercialized products utilizing NASA technology since 1976. It is published to reflect the work of the NASA Commercial Technology Program, which over the last 40 years has shepherded the use of NASA technology in the private sector.

To view the article, visit and look under “Health and Medicine.”

An unusual NASA ‘Spinoff’ partnership

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