Simple, safe and inexpensive, fluorescence-based medical imaging has been rapidly advancing for the past decade, helping doctors and researchers identify, study and treat living tissue on a molecular level. Current medical imaging technology like x-rays, MRI and ultrasound are able to detect abnormal tissue, such as tumours, but they provide little insight. Flueorescence molecular tomography (FMT) is quickly rising as an alternative. According to Davis and Pogue, the technology “uses fluorescent probes to image the distribution of molecules associated with diseased tissue”. Imaging involves injecting a fluorescent substance that binds to cancer-specific protein receptors, and when exposed to a certain wavelength of light, the substance responds by emitting another wavelength, causing tumour cells and nerve endings to glow. Measurements are taken and used to calculate molecular distribution, allowing researchers and doctors to not only detect and monitor tumours, but also quantify them accurately and non-invasively—resulting in complete extraction. However, FMT produces blurry images and so it is often coupled with MRI technology, which can be used to define the tissue and guide the FMT image. FMT is currently being tested on cancerous tumours in mice. Few fluorescent probes have been approved for humans use yet, but it’s an exciting, constantly-expanding area of research.