5 Interesting Facts About X-Rays

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X-rays are popular imaging scans that are used every day to diagnose various medical issues within patients. While these scans may be well known, their interesting history is certainly not. I know what you’re thinking, “You’re a radiology group, you’re being biased. X-rays aren’t interesting.” We’re ready to prove you wrong – here’s 5 interesting facts about X-rays that you’ll want to pass along to your friends.

1. Barium is Frequently Used With the Test

Barium is a substance that is often used with X-rays. It is a chalky substance that you drink before they give you the X-ray. It was discovered in 1808 by a chemist named Sir Humphrey Davey. It is the 56th element on the periodic table and found to absorb the x-rays well in order provide accurate X-ray images. This enables your doctor to make an accurate diagnosis.

2. X-Rays Helped Discover the Structure of DNA

X-rays helped us learn more about the structure of DNA and its helix shape. This came about due to a technique called X-ray crystallography which allows X-rays to bounce off 3-D patterns of atoms using crystal lattice. During the 1950’s, a British researcher named Rosalind Franklin took the first picture that revealed the DNA structure. However, she passed away before getting credit for the discovery.

3. X-Rays Were Used Immediately When Discovered

European surgeons used X-rays within weeks of the discovery. They used them to find bullets and other objects within the human body. One doctor actually found a needle in a woman’s hand! The following year X-rays were used in the United State to diagnose bone fractures and a department was created at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

4. X-Rays Revolutionized the Treatment of Tuberculosis and Destroy Cancer Cells

X-rays helped doctors diagnose Tuberculosis earlier on. X-rays allowed doctors to see shadows and spots on the lungs of the patient which were caused by the tuberculosis bacteria. X-rays were used for patients in the army, factories, and mines which saved many lives due to the insightful information provided. You’d be surprised, but in the early days some doctors used x-rays to burn off moles and growths on the patient’s skin.

5. William Roentgen Did Not Patent the X-Rays

William Roentgen did not patent the X-ray. He did not want the use of X-rays to be limited for patients. Roentgen saw the value of his invention and wanted everyone to benefit not just doctors and scientists. Overall the use of x-rays is more widely used for different treatments and more affordable to patients because of him.

What did we tell you? While we most certainly are fond of X-rays as they are a focal point within our profession, we believe anyone can appreciate X-ray’s interesting history. If you’re in need of an X-ray please contact us and our qualified staff in order to schedule an appointment.

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