This year’s Nobel Prizes included an award for medicine given to two inventors of the MRI. Magnetic Resonance Imaging gave doctors a new way to view the human body and how it works, according to University of Iowa radiology professor Alan Stolpen. He thinks of X-rays as one-dimensional, and MRI as multidimensional, as he says you can see anatomy much better than with any other methods and can see problems and diagnose diseases. Stolpen says Magnetic Resonance, or M-R can be used for specific images like the inside of a blood vessel and avoid the need for invasive procedures like an inserted camera. Stolpen’s been doing it for twelve years and sometimes the images look like magic. He says on the x-rays we’ve all seen, bones look bright and everything else looks dark, the muscle, fat, tendons and perhaps a hidden tumor mass, but while CAT-scans are a little better, M-R offers much better “soft tissue contrast.” Stolpen says it’s hard to explain just how valuable a tool magnetic resonance imaging is for modern medicine.
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