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Questions About MRI
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Q: Why does the latebra image so well with MRI? [Question submitted by stambama@cmi.k12.il.us]

A: We have done a crude chemical analysis by NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) Spectroscopy, which shows that the composition of the latebra is much more similar to the "white" or albumen, than it is to the yolk. In particular, there is hardly any fat in the latebra. However, the MRI and NMR data indicate that some properties differ between the latebra and white. This suggests that perhaps different proteins are present in the latebra. This accounts for its bright appearance, even when the albumen is relatively dark.

For more information, please check out the NMR page.


Q: Why is the MR image in black and white? [Question submitted by middle school Chickscope students]

A: Good question! Actually, the MR image has no "colors" at all - it is a radio signal. But in order to make it visible, the computer artificially colors it. Since a single image conveys only one value at each point, we choose to assign that value to "brightness". It could also be assigned to a color, however, to make a "pseudo-color image". If you have the right software in your computer, you can change the colors to suit yourself. The black and white choice has other bases, too. MRI is often done along with X-rays in a hospital radiology department. The doctors are used to looking at black and white x-rays, so it was natural to do MRI in the same way. Often the hard-copies are made on X-ray film, which is black and white. Finally, if we have two or more images with different contrast (T1 and T2, for example), we could combine them in a computer using different colors, to make a much more informative "false color image".



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