Early PET brain imaging research, 1961

Early PET brain imaging research, 1961

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Credit: BROOKHAVEN NATIONAL LABORATORY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Early PET brain imaging research. Equipment used in the 1960s in an early form of positron emission tomography (PET) scanning. In 1961, chemists at Brookhaven National Laboratory, New York, USA, studied how to detect small brain tumours by analyzing the decay of radioactive material injected into the patient's bloodstream and preferentially absorbed by the tumour. This circular array of detectors proved best at detecting the emission. In the 1970s, BNL helped reconstruct the raw data into an image of the brain. This breakthrough led to today's PET machines. Photographed in November 1961.

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