China opens neuroimaging center

Scientists hope 3-Tesla MRI will increase quality of country's research

Laura Spinney(laura.spinney@btopenworld.com)
May 25, 2004

BEIJING—Chinese neuroscientists hope to lure émigré postdocs back to Beijing with the unveiling of the country's first magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine devoted to neuroimaging research. International scientists gathered here this week (May 24 and 25) to mark the opening of the new Beijing MRI Center for Brain Research, where the machine is housed.

"This is really going to put Chinese neuroscience on the map," said Robert Desimone, scientific director of the US National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) and a co-chair of the new center's scientific committee. A third of the advisory committee is from overseas. "That has not been the usual way of doing things in Chinese science," Desimone told The Scientist, "although increasingly it is becoming so."

Until now, Chinese scientists have had to compete with clinicians for scanning time on hospital MRI machines. But the new machine, which has a magnet strength of 3...

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