CT in the Sky with Diamonds

Inkling Magazine has discovered a curious episode in the history of music and neuroscience where The Beatles helped to fund the development of the CT scanner.

If you ever suffer a head injury, you’re likely to given a CT head scan as its a quick, convenient way of look for damage to brain tissue.

In a recent talk, consultant radiologist Dr Ben Timmins claimed that the sales of Beatles records allowed EMI to fund Sir Godfrey Hounsfield to develop the first scanner.

As a direct result of The Beatles’ success, Dr Timmis claimed, the scanner’s inventor, Sir Godfrey Hounsfield, was able to devote about four years developing the scanner from its 1968 prototype, to something that could be used in a clinical setting. His work was done in the Central Research Laboratory, a facility near Heathrow airport that was part of the EMI Group. Having sold 200 million of the Fab Four’s singles, (at seven inches, almost enough vinyl to stretch the length of the equator) the Beatles’ record company, EMI, was able to fund Hounsfield to do his research and the scanner was ready be used in hospitals in the 1970’s.

Link to Inkling Magazine on The Fab Four and CT scanners.
Link to The Independent with a short article on new CT scan and its history.

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