Lewis fMRI research scanner down

Word from the LCNI is that the brain scanner is down until mid December because of a shortage of helium for the 3 Tesla super-cooled super-conducting electro-magnet. Donate your party balloons, children! 11/16/2012.

Tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Lewis fMRI research scanner down

  1. Anonymous says:

    Dog Says

    This is not a joke at all.

    A serious blunder was made in 1996 – The Helium Privatization Act – at that time some of us said this would be a “serious blunder”. Now we are in it.


    is one of many national stories on this problem

  2. UO Matters says:

    It’s definitely not a joke. My research depends on this scanner. I don’t want to have to switch to the Skyra in midstream. Why can we buy helium for party balloons but not for this?

  3. Raghu Parthasarathy says:

    Another nice article:
    No, this doesn’t help you, UOM. Fun fact: 17% of helium is used for welding. Who knew?

    • Anonymous says:

      Dog Says

      I knew – for instance AirGas does have Helium available but
      only for industrial uses now (e.g. welding). Hospitals have
      their own private stock since Helium is used in certain breathing assist apparati. The National Weather Service stocked up on
      Helium long ago so they can keep flying balloons.

      The original way that Helium was captured was through Oil and
      Gas exploration since it was deemed to have national value.
      Nowadays its not bothered being captured any more.

      Finally, without helium there is no low-noise infrared astronomical. Indeed, the whole reason that BOOMERANG discovered the accelerating Universe before anyone else,
      was because of Helium.

      So, all in all, this is quite a problem.

      The LHC requires helium and is, in fact, the largest cryogenically cooled thing in the world. Fortunately the
      EU is not quite as stoopid as the USA.

      and yes, I know, more than anyone wanted to ever know on
      this topic …

    • Anonymous says:

      Pushing this unexpected welding meme a little farther, the NYT has a column on it today: welding is now a STEM career. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/18/opinion/sunday/Friedman-You-Got-the-Skills.html

  4. Anonymous says:

    I thought the blunder was when they bought the more expensive less functional fMRI because that is what all the kool kidz have….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>