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Researchers from the Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University have built the first positron emission tomography (PET) scanner that is suitable for rats and other small rodents.

A PET scan shows how the body’s tissues and organs are functioning, but requires the subject to stay still in order to generate clear images. This is a simple enough instruction for humans, but not so easy to convey to rats.

Until now, it’s been difficult to run a PET scan on the brain of a rodent that hasn’t been anesthetized.

The new device, which uses a microchip and photosensors called avalanche photodiodes, attaches to a rat’s head and weighs very little.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/15/science/15obpet.html
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