£35,000 boost for cancer detector

A SCOTTISH foundation has awarded a £35,000 grant to campaigners raising funds for a new cancer-detecting microscope.

The James Clerk Maxwell Foundation, through the Maxwell Cancer Fund, made the donation to the Caledonia Events committee after viewing the microscope, which it is hoped will revolutionise the treatment of cancer.

The £400,000 microscope, one of only two in the world, uses “vibrational” images to see deep into active cancer cells, giving scientists a unique view of how the disease spreads. The foundation grant goes more than halfway to raising the £60,000 that the campaign still needs to complete the project.

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The appeal was highlighted by Scotland on Sunday in February. Professor David Ritchie, the foundation’s director of development, said: “The worth of this technology is undoubted. The microscope falls into line with our particular interest in the field of electro- magnetism which is something we are specifically keen to support.”

James Clerk Maxwell was an eminent 19th-century Scottish scientist whose most prominent achievement was the formulation of electromagnetic theory.

The microscope will be housed at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.

The continuing campaign to raise funds to develop the use of the microscope has already brought in around £340,000 from Cancer Research UK, with supporting funds from the Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit and the University of Edinburgh.

The culmination of fundraising efforts is set for 17 May with an event at Dundas Castle, near South Queensferry, where the Caledonia Events committee hopes to raise above the additional £20,000 needed.