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How do you move a massive MRI scanner?

Since September 2010, researchers at the University of Minnesota have been working to map human brain circuitry in 1,200 healthy adults as part of the Human Connectome Project (HCP).  The effort is being done in collaboration with Washington University in St. Louis.

Utilizing noninvasive neuroimaging methods, the HCP looks to set a new course for human science, revolutionizing how we perform studies examining brain circuitry changes during development, aging or in patients suffering from neurologic and psychiatric disorders.

For the first two years of the much-anticipated five-year project, the focus was on data acquisition and analysis, which primarily took place at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR).

Now, Phase II is set to begin at Washington University.  But before it could, the massive 3 Tesla (3T) Skyra Connectome MRI scanner needed to be shipped more than 550 miles to Washington University in St. Louis.

If the project sounds daunting, you’d be right.

Moving such equipment is no small order and required the use of semi-trucks, cranes and a lot of manpower. Getting the machine to St. Louis quickly and safely was paramount and thankfully, the machine arrived in just three days.

To see more of the move, watch these videos of the Skyra Connectome MRI scanner leaving the University of Minnesota and arriving at Washington University in St. Louis.

The Health Talk blog will be sure to provide updates of the HCP as they unfold.

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