INSTITUT PAOLI-CALMETTES, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY INSTITUT PAOLI-CALMETTES, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Human skeleton. Gamma scans of a human skeleton seen from the front (left) and back. Gamma scans involve injecting a radioactive isotope into the body. Here, an isotope that accumulates in bone was chosen. The gamma radiation given off by the isotope is detected, allowing the bone density to be imaged. Areas of high bone density (red) are the shoulder and knee joints, the sternum (breast bone), the spine, the pelvic ridges, the ankles, the crown of the skull and the lower facial bones. Gamma scans are often used to detect bone tumours.
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