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MRI scanning. A patient is prepared for an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan by a nurse in a hospital. The patient has her head secured by cushions in a special headset. This will help to keep the patient's head still during the scan. MRI scanners can produce an image of a "slice" through the body in any direction. They are particularly good for studying soft tissues like the brain and spinal cord. In a conventional MRI scanner the patient must lie very still in a narrow cylinder for about 30 minutes. A high-speed scanner can perform a 50-slice brain scan in under 5 minutes.
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