ALFRED BENJAMIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALFRED BENJAMIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Healthy "whole blood" test. Electrical field image of a blood sample in a healthy patient. This diagnostic procedure relies on a change in colour and pattern of liquid crystals in an electrical field. Whereas plasma in blood is normally used, a "whole blood" sample here is put on a glass slide coated with voltage-sensitive liquid crystals. An electrical current is applied through the wire at centre. Colours and patterns due to voltage differences indicate a normal "whole blood" pattern. Instead of a red ring (near centre) found using plasma it is blue and thin; the light clear blue (high voltage) area shows no unhealthy discolouration. Cancerous blood appears different.
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