Meet Iseult: World's Strongest MRI Scanner Shows First Human Brain Scans

In the last few months, about 20 healthy volunteers were the first ones to go inside the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine.
MRI Scan

MRI Scan

The world's most strongest MRI scanner, developed by researchers at France's Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), has captured its first images of human brains. This advanced technology promises to provide clearer insights into how our minds work and the diseases that affect them. Initially used to scan a pumpkin in 2021, the scanner has now been approved to study humans by health authorities.
According to a report from Agence France-Presse (AFP), in the last few months, about 20 healthy volunteers were the first ones to go inside the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine. This machine is situated in the Plateau de Saclay area, south of Paris, where lots of tech companies and universities are located.
"We have seen a level of precision never reached before at CEA," Alexandre Vignaud, a physicist working on the project, was quoted as saying.
The report revealed that the scanner generates a magnetic field of 11.7 teslas, named after inventor Nikola Tesla. This high power enables the machine to capture images with ten times more accuracy than typical hospital MRIs, which usually have a maximum power of three teslas. Vignaud compared images taken by this powerful scanner, called Iseult, with those from a standard MRI on a computer screen.
"This world-first will allow better detection and treatment for pathologies of the brain," France's research minister Sylvie Retailleau in a statement to AFP, said.
The report also mentioned that the United States and South Korea are working on similarly powerful MRI machines, but have not yet started scanning images of humans. One of the main goals of such a powerful scanner is to refine our understanding of the anatomy of the brain and which areas are activated when it carries out particular tasks.
Scientists have already used MRIs to see that when the brain recognises specific things like faces, places, or words, different parts of the brain become active. With the strength of 11.7 teslas, Iseult can dive deeper into understanding how the brain's structure relates to cognitive functions, such as reading or doing mental math, according to Nicolas Boulant, the project's scientific director.
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