Narrator: This is Science Today. Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, has given researchers the ability to non-invasively study the brain and provide insight into normal and abnormal development. Dr. Jim Barkovich, a neurology specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, says in the last few years, researchers have been doing more MR imaging of fetal brains.
Barkovich: Why do we do this? We do it because maybe someone has done a screening ultrasound and seen something that looked a little bit suspicious or didn't look quite right and we can get a much better look at the brain using magnetic resonance imaging.
Narrator: These images are enhanced by placing coils on the surface of the head, which give researchers better resolution.
Barkovich: So by using this technology developed here at UCSF, we can go from seeing the brain pretty well, to seeing very clear, high resolution images of the brain that help us to spot these disorders of brain formation.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.