It’s Star Wars Day: Let’s talk about the Brain Bucket

It looks like something out of a sci-fi movie crossing a Storm Trooper helmet with that of a Spartan warrior. But do not be fooled, the “brain bucket” is arguably the most powerful brain scanner ever made.

Invented by Graham Wiggins and Lawrence Wald, two biophysicists, of the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, the $250,000 helmet is supposed to be able to detect brain diseases early, including Alzheimer’s.

With the help of 96 metal coils, acting as receivers picking up signals from different areas of the brain and translating them into a single image, the “brain bucket” has eight times more power than a traditional MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). An MRI typically uses only two to 12 coils. The brain bucket is also ten times faster than an MRI.

This high-resolution, “super-vision” image paints a much clearer picture of the human brain. These scans are so in-depth, doctors can see blood vessels. Being able to see them allows medical practitioners to catch diseases early and treat them: brain tumors, dementia and epilepsy.

Well, I don’t think even George Lucas could have come up with that. The year is 2009 and technology is changing as rapidly as it is growing.

Shall we be able to keep up, I do often wonder.

Nonetheless, may the Fouth be with you!

Storm Trooper photo by:  David Durán Trejo. All Rights Reserved 2009.

 

Main Source: GMA (05/04/09) & ABC News online.

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Sasha Muradali runs the ‘Little Pink Book’ . She holds a B.S. in Public Relations and an M.A. in International Administration. She loves the colour pink and was amused when someone recently called her “Vulcan Sasha.”

Copyright © 2009 Sasha H. Muradali. All Rights Reserved.

 

Comments

  1. nicole says:

    I’m surprised they haven’t started producing more of these. If they *did* work, you’d think other major hospitals would be dying to get their hands on them.