Friday 10 October 2003

Nobody loves Raymond (Damadian)

Lost Content See Just Playing with new software entry.

The Nobel Prize in Medicine did NOT go to Raymond Damadian, and he is mad as hell. Mad enough to take out advertisements in the NY Times and the Washington Post. You see Raymond got the idea that NMR could be used to differentiate cancerous tissue from non cancerous tissue. NMR had been around for quite some time in the chemistry labs but no one had thought to apply it in medicine. Reason being because the equipment used to perform NMR really couldn't deal with people sized living objects, the study of excised cancerous tissue was better left to pathologists with microscopes (the way it is still done today). Raymond wasn't detoured he thinks outside the box. So he did some experimentation gathered up a set of data and published a nice bit of original work. He still didn't have a machine that we would call a modern MRI. The data his mahine produced was not a pretty picture, nor could his results and conclusions be verified. But he did publish that paper. It got others thinking and involved with MRI. Other people who actually produced practical working MRI devices. Our boy Ray couldn't get his machine to work very well, for years he couldn't. He did however get a patent. With that patent he spent years chasing GE Medical Systems through the courts. He and his lawyers got over $100 million dollars from them in the end. His company eventually did produce an MRI device that could be sold on the market.

My title is misleading there is a group of individuals who love Raymond. It is the Creation Science community.

Now the controversy is Was Raymond snubbed by Nobel Committee because he is beloved by God? Godless science shits on a saint.

I don't know. Perhaps Raymond deserves the prize. MRI was first attempted by him but his results were pretty much useless. His original paper has been discredited by follow up research. I personally see no conflict between science and spiritualism, but putting a Christian God as the head of the universe is tacky in my opinion. Teaching that there has been no evolution, that Genesis contains a literal cosmology, well that isn't science in any sense I understand.

I'll let God decide wether Raymond gets his Nobel or not...

Posted by Philip at Friday 10 October 2003 | TrackBack

Damadian invented Medical MRI

As a physician with a biophysics degree, I have followed the Damadian story from its beginnings. Claiming he didn't invent MRI is like saying the Wright brothers did not invent powered flight because slighly later aircraft were rather different from their original "Flyer".

T1/T2 had been around for decades. He was the first to realize and show they could be used for imaging. This is what made medical MRI possble and will be used long after the contributons of this years winners are obsolete.

Further, in the patent suit, Lauderbur's notebook revealed that he had been directly inspired by Damadian, though he never acknowledged this in his published work. This is called "citation plagarism" and is a definite no-no.

Posted by: Peter H Proctor, PhD, M at October 14, 2003 08:35 AM


With all respect to the good Doctor, I disagree.

My qualifications are not so lofty, I only wrote computer code used to realize MRI scanners (1979-1988) I didn't invent them.

Who invented television? Nipkow or Farnsworth?
Nipkow had a patent for the transmission of pictures via elctronic methods but he didn't do motion very well. Farnsworth is generally given credit for the invention of a practical television.

I think this is the kind of argument we have here.

Damadian had the idea of using NMR to differentiate between cancerous and non-cancerous tissue. He produced reams of data (no IMAGES) showing that the two tissue types indeed had different "signatures" (emitted different radio resonance waves). He never produced an "image" that could be used clinically until he adopted Lauderbur's magnetic gradient ideas, this is why FONAR was a flop for 9 years. The first commecial MRI machine by FONAR "Indomitable" was "useless".
Subsequent machines using Lauderbur's methods dominate the market (GE Medical Systems, Ohio Nuclear, Toshiba et. al.)

Damadian's original paper and results could not be duplicated. The frustration of recreating the experiment led to Lauderbur's idea to introduce a magnetic gradient field so that differences in the radio spin could be detected and recorded.

The interpolation of this data into an image was the contribution of Mansfield. (and Cooley-Tukey if you ask me).

Using NMR to probe the human body for differences in it's tissue was Damadian's contribution. Producing images that could be used clinically was the provance of Messrs. Lauderbur and Mansfield.

Damadian is a "bit eccentric" he doesn't work or play well with others. He did not like sharing the National Medal of Technology. Refused to shake Lauderbur's hand, turning his back on him. This is hardly the type of behavior that endears you to the scientific community at large.

Michael Moseley, a Stanford University radiologist and president of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, said the Nobel committee "does a lot of research. They talk to a lot of people. I'm glad to say they made the right choice." (Newsday)

I think there is a significant difference between the realization that NMR (T1/T2) may be used to probe the human body and the display of the information in a form that is usable.

Raymond Damadian's "flyer" never left the ground.
DaVinci designed an aircraft, we don't give him credit for aviation. The men first to fly under power are credited with the invention of powered man flight. The first MRI picture recognized as such was rendered by Laudebur and Mansfield in 1973 it was of a living clam.

I looked at the Nobel Prize committee's words when awarding the prize. They seem to go out of their way NOT to give credit for the actual invention of MRI but for "seminal discoveries concerning the use of magnetic resonance to visualize different structures."

To 'vizualize different structures' cut's Damadian out of the loop.

They could have worded it different. They didn't. Game, set, and match.

Posted by: Philip at October 14, 2003 10:00 AM


I believe that the issue here is wether or not the Nobel Prize Committee has in fact made their decision in accordance with the original intents of the founder's testimony. In his will it is clearly pointed out that it is the 'discovery' of a certain science or technology that is to be acknowledged. Regardless of how the committee may chose to formulate their award this, awkwardly enough for them, remains a fact.

Posted by: Kristian at December 3, 2003 03:17 AM


No no no.

The issue here is not whether he invented MR, nobody 'invented' MR. Bloch and Purcell won a Nobel prize in 1952 for it's discovery in 1946.

The prize was for making it a successful workeable technique - which Damadian did not do.

If you really want correct an injustice, take the Nobel Prize that Hounsfield & Cormack won for CT and give it to Olendorf and Radon.

Posted by: Bern at December 5, 2003 01:54 AM


The Nobel prize is a phony prize. The hell with the nobel committee.

Posted by: adam at December 10, 2003 09:06 AM


Yeah I just can't figure out why Dr. Damadian wants one of those phony prizes anyway.

Posted by: Philip at December 10, 2003 09:24 AM


I don't think I've ever seen such a childish behaviour of someone supposed to be so ...
It's like seeing a child in fury and stubborness for not getting into a team of scientists, and then try to discredit everyone else for not having been chosen.
Mr Damadian, please tell when you are to stop wearing dipers, and then perhaps a Nobel Prize can be discussed on your behalf?
After all, it goes to GROWN UP men and women, not to children, what I know of...

Once Nitroglycerine was invented - but if the Nobel's Rules are to be applied to Niotroglycerine, it is not the invention of that chemical that need stimulation, it is the way of handelling. Thus, the opne that managed to create a method, like letting the chemical soak into silicone and get a far less dangerous and much more handable product ought to have gotten the prize.

Posted by: Pat at December 12, 2003 05:40 AM


Dr. Damadian,
As a medical doctor, i fully understand yr situation, Nobel committe seems under control of someone.

Posted by: James at December 17, 2003 10:27 PM


Regarding the original article, note that evolution and creation are both equally religious. Evolution believes that 'nothing' plus 'chance' equals 'everything' and that inanimate molecules can turn themselves into complex life-forms given enough time. Creation acknowledges that an infinitely intelligent Creator formed and sustains life and all the universe. Which do you think requires more faith given the evidence we see all around us: faith in nothing or faith in the Almighty?

Posted by: Ron LeHotski at January 16, 2004 02:18 AM


I wonder how many people really read everything that Dr. Damadian has written on his own works. After all, he seems to have a team that witnessed his every effort and trial with this MRI invention. They do not seem to be complaining about being included with Dr. Damadian, or his desire for the Nobel Prize, or for all of the ideas presented. I think some of those who despise his Christian faith should read the qualifications of receiving the Nobel prize. To paraphrase I would say that it says there will be no discrimination. The equipment was invented by him and benefitted mankind. What happened when someone read his first paper in 1971, never came near what Dr. Damadian was doing. I do not see patents on anyone else's so-called provision of magnetism or pictures. What gives. Not everyone hates Dr. Damadian. I hope to make use of his invention in Canada as well, but I wait until I do not have to go through cheapscape doctors who are waiting for raises in Canada. Reading is all part of research and Dr. Damadian's books are great! Try them.

Posted by: Sandy at February 3, 2004 05:09 PM