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Professor Emma MacPherson showcases research on BBC News

Emma MacPherson showed the BBC team around her lab, showcasing the development of her skin scanner machine.

The machine has been developed using terahertz light, which is a million times lower frequency than x-rays, meaning it’s much safer way to test skin for skin cancer. The machine looks at water in the skin and any changes, as research shows that cancerous skin cells have a different water hydration to healthier skin cells. Currently the extent of skin tumours is unknown until an operation is undertaken. The idea is that the THz scan information will be used to accurately map the whole area of skin prior to surgery resulting in a quicker surgery and better skin graft planning.

Using terahertz light, in time the machine could potentially analyse other skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.

Watch Emma talking to the BBC News team.

Hear what Emma says about her research.