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New systems that blend nuclear detection and computer reconstruction techniques may spare many patients the ordeal of exploratory surgery. The systems employ electronic detectors that can pinpoint atomic particles injected into the body. From information about the site of these particles, numerical computer programs can reconstruct and display three-dimensional representations on a cathode-ray-tube display and can be used to derive information on the biochemical activity of a body area, including organ functions, metabolic rates, and the presence of benign and cancerous tumours. The systems include a greatly improved gamma-ray camera, both positron-emission and single-photon-emission tomography scanners, and nuclear magnetic resonance methods.