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 Low-intensity MRI takes first scan of a human brain

This story is from the category The Brain
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Date posted: 14/11/2007

A method called ultra-low field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has captured its first, blurry shots of a human brain, revealing activity as well as structure with only a tiny magnetic field.

MRI scanners take their imagesby detecting how hydrogen atoms respond to magnetic fields. The problem is, to generate a field powerful enough to measure the results, consumes a great deal of power. They are typically 10,000 to 100,000 times stronger than the Earth's magnetic field, and generate magnetic fields powerful enough to cause metal implants to move.

This also makes the scanners very expensive to aquire, and to operate, in addition to the patient risk.

The device hits a sample with a magnetic field about 100 times weaker than normal, followed by a slightly stronger field. Developed by Vadim Zotev of Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, US, the new system produces images clear enough for surgicaluse,and is small enough to be used in surgery itself.

See the full Story via external site: technology.newscientist.com

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