If I Only Had a Brain...

Image by Siemens

In about the time it takes to read this sentence aloud, Siemens's new Somatom Sensation 64 computed tomography (CT) scanner can take a picture of your innards as detailed as this one. The imager, adopted this fall by several hospitals in the United States, is the fastest system of its kind. Its X-ray source circles the patient in just one-third of a second, producing 64 image slices per rotation. The slices are stacked together to form a three-dimensional picture with a resolution of 0.4 millimeters. Besides the X-ray source's speedy orbit, it forms two focal points instead of one by rapidly deflecting the beam 4640 times per second. The double focal point produces overlapping projections, which are then interleaved to boost resolution.

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