MAURO FERMARIELLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MAURO FERMARIELLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
MRI scanning. Woman patient lies underneath the detector of an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner during a scan of her neck and spinal cord. In the foreground is the control room from which the scan has been digitised onto computer. MRI scanners produce "slice" images through the body. The device employs a magnet which produces a powerful magnetic field. Radio wave pulses emitted by the scanner interact with atoms in the body affected by the magnetic field, and radio signals produced are picked up by the detector. MRI is useful for studying tumours in soft tissues like the brain and spinal cord.
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