Liquid security: MRI at the airport

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by NYCUA1K, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    This piece brings together two of my passions: MRI technology, which I use daily for both clinical diagnosis and biomedical research of brain disorders...and travel!

    Could this lead to the relaxation of the rule on the size of bottles of booze that one can put in one's carry-on luggage?
    Researchers in the USA have developed a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique that could provide a much-needed simple way to scan liquids carried by passengers or in hold luggage for enhanced airport security and security elsewhere.

    By adding low-power X-ray data to the security mix alongside MRI, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico believe they have found a way to boost airport security and remove the risk of passengers smuggling noxious and potentially explosive materials on board. The development was funded in part by the US Department of Homeland Security's "Science and Technology Directorate".

    The new system, which goes by the charmingly sci-fi name of MagRay, allows security officers to quickly and accurately distinguish between liquids that appear identical on visual inspection. For instance, that bottle of white wine could just as easily be a bottle in which the ethanolic beverage has been swapped for nitromethane, which might be used to produce an explosive. Both are clear, almost colourless liquids. And, while white wine has its own associated risks those are not necessarily of an acute nature and so unlike nitromethane, white wine is allowed onboard commercial aircraft, while nitromethane is strictly prohibited. The MagRay technology developed by LANL's Michelle Espy, Larry Schultz and their team would allow airport security to distinguish between a Pinot Grigio and something more pungently risky.


    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013
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  2. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    It would be great if this research pans out!

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