Skip to Content

Double Vision

The two most vaunted medical-imaging technologies have led separate existences. Positron emission tomography (PET) provides snapshots of the human metabolism, while magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) captures high-resolution pictures of anatomical structures. MRI could pinpoint a tumor’s location, for example, while PET revealed whether a drug was working to cut off its blood supply. Yet the two techniques have not been used simultaneously in humans; the metal inside the PET camera wreaks havoc with the MRI scanner’s powerful magnet.

Researchers at King’s College in London and the University of California, Davis, are working on a combination scanner that places a PET camera made of plastic and fiber optics inside an MRI magnet. They have built shoebox-size models that can image metabolic changes and anatomy simultaneously in the bodies of mice and rats (the image at left is of a rat’s head) and hope to eventually build a prototype large enough for human testing.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

Here’s how a Twitter engineer says it will break in the coming weeks

One insider says the company’s current staffing isn’t able to sustain the platform.

Technology that lets us “speak” to our dead relatives has arrived. Are we ready?

Digital clones of the people we love could forever change how we grieve.

How to befriend a crow

I watched a bunch of crows on TikTok and now I'm trying to connect with some local birds.

Starlink signals can be reverse-engineered to work like GPS—whether SpaceX likes it or not

Elon said no thanks to using his mega-constellation for navigation. Researchers went ahead anyway.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.