New wearable, high-precision brain scanner allows for patients to move around

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A radical new wearable magneto encephalography (MEG) brain scanner under development at the University of Nottingham allows a patient to move around, instead of having to sit or lie still inside a massive scanner.

Currently, MEG scanners* weigh around 500 kilograms (about 1100 pounds) because they require bulky superconducting sensors refrigerated in a liquid helium dewar at -269°C. Patients must keep still — even a 5mm movement can ruin images of brain activity. That immobility severely limits the range of brain activities and experiences and makes the scanner unsuitable for children and many patients.

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The World is Running Out of Helium

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A helium balloon in the future could cost $100.

The world is running short on several metals, but perhaps more disconcerting is the impending loss of the noble helium. The stuff of birthday balloons, superconducting magnets and Mickey Mouse voices could get a lot more expensive in the near future, according to a Nobel Prize-winning scientist.

 

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