KLAUS GULDBRANDSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KLAUS GULDBRANDSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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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