Superconducting magnet ready in Florida

July 30, 2005

A superconducting magnet at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Florida is expected to pave the way for better drugs to treat diseases.

The $16.5 million magnet, at 16 feet tall and weighing more than 15 tons, took more than a decade to design and is unlike any other in the world, said Greg Boebinger, director of Florida State University's magnetic laboratory in Tallahassee, Fla.

"The magnet will help us to (draw) out scientific solutions to many questions," Tim Cross, the director of the lab's Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Imaging Program, said at a news conference Thursday.

The magnet can be used to design new pharmaceutical drugs or enhance old ones via a process called nuclear magnetic resonance, that allows for attacking only the "bad" cells and not the healthy ones to treat such diseases as AIDS, tuberculosis or cancer, reported the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat Friday.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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