Your sense of smell may be the key to a balanced diet

Walking past a corner bakery, you may find yourself drawn in by the fresh smell of sweets wafting from the front door. You're not alone: The knowledge that humans make decisions based on their nose has led major brands like ...

A powerful, pocket-sized optical imager, no longer science fiction

Before Wilhelm Röntgen, a mechanical engineer, discovered a new type of electromagnetic radiation in 1895, physicians could only dream of being able to see inside the body. Within a year of Röntgen's discovery, X-rays were ...

Venus flytraps found to produce magnetic fields

The Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) is a carnivorous plant that encloses its prey using modified leaves as a trap. During this process, electrical signals known as action potentials trigger the closure of the leaf lobes. ...

Brains 'primed' for life on land

A new study adds another layer to the remarkable evolutionary transition of life from water to land on Earth.

Researchers create MRI-like technique for imaging magnetic waves

A team of researchers from Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), Leiden University, Tohoku University and the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter has developed a new type of MRI scanner that ...

Exploring the source of stars and planets in a laboratory

A new method for verifying a widely held but unproven theoretical explanation of the formation of stars and planets has been proposed by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory ...

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Magnetic resonance imaging

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), or nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI), is primarily a medical imaging technique most commonly used in radiology to visualize the internal structure and function of the body. MRI provides much greater contrast between the different soft tissues of the body than computed tomography (CT) does, making it especially useful in neurological (brain), musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and oncological (cancer) imaging. Unlike CT, it uses no ionizing radiation, but uses a powerful magnetic field to align the nuclear magnetization of (usually) hydrogen atoms in water in the body. Radio frequency (RF) fields are used to systematically alter the alignment of this magnetization, causing the hydrogen nuclei to produce a rotating magnetic field detectable by the scanner. This signal can be manipulated by additional magnetic fields to build up enough information to construct an image of the body.:36

Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a relatively new technology. The first MR image was published in 1973 and the first cross-sectional image of a living mouse was published in January 1974. The first studies performed on humans were published in 1977. By comparison, the first human X-ray image was taken in 1895.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging was developed from knowledge gained in the study of nuclear magnetic resonance. In its early years the technique was referred to as nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI). However, as the word nuclear was associated in the public mind with ionizing radiation exposure it is generally now referred to simply as MRI. Scientists still use the term NMRI when discussing non-medical devices operating on the same principles. The term Magnetic Resonance Tomography (MRT) is also sometimes used.

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