Magnetic resonance imaging MRI scanner

Magnetic resonance imaging MRI scanner

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Credit: KLAUS GULDBRANDSEN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: MRI scanner. View of the inside of an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner. The laser lines are guide lines used when positioning the patient in the device. MRI is a diagnostic technique that produces 'slice' images through the body. The walls of this chamber contain a powerful cylindrical magnet which forces the hydrogen nuclei in the patient's tissues to align them- selves parallel to each other. A pulse of radio waves then knocks the nuclei out of alignment. As they fall back into alignment, they produce a detectable radio signal. MRI scans are usually used to study nervous tissue, and are helpful when looking for tumours or other abnormalities.

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