Medicine: A Brainy Marvel Called PET

New scanner, a cousin of the CAT, unlocks metabolic secrets

The latest pictures of the human brain come in electric blues and glowing yellows. They are produced by the PET scanner, one of a series of machines that are helping make diagnosis less of an art and more of a science. The PET scanner looks rather like a sophisticated airplane engine, with a hollow core. It is a cousin of the CAT scanner that nearly a decade ago wedded the technique of X rays with computer technology to give cross-sectional views of internal body structures, not just bones but soft tissues as...

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