The Big Smoking Bong of Harvard Neuroscientists

i-5152819edc125a536cdb5c49e79a4b74-wired_waterpipe.jpgMind Hacks has alerted us to some amazing engineering from Harvard University:

A team from Harvard Medical School are interested in how smoked marijuana affects the brain, but have come to the inevitable conclusion that it's actually quite hard smoking a joint when you're lying on your back being brain scanned.

So the research team put their heads together (!), and realised they needed to design a bong - a water pipe for smoking marijuana - safe to use in an MRI scanner.

This isn't a trivial task. Apart from being free of metal parts that could be affected by the MRI scanner's strong magnet, the device had to be installed and removed within one booked session and also needed to control the smoke.

As well as allowing the person take hits from the bong, the device also had to capture the smoke that was exhaled. Otherwise, the scanner room would get filled with smoke which could interfere with the equipment and affect any participants who took part in other studies that happened afterwards.

But that's not the only excitement this evening in the world of Bongs...

i-c406b9e9e12e58f28c99e10e26188b87-nintendobong.jpg

This enterprising kid created a pipe out of a Nintendo Controller.

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The vaporizer is full of metal parts that would be attracted to the large magnet in the MRI.

Sure, but they can be used with inhaler tubes of arbitrary length, and the tube itself is... plastic of some sort.

"Sure, but they can be used with inhaler tubes of arbitrary length, and the tube itself is... plastic of some sort."

So can a bong.

Or an incredibly long pipe. I think that the solution was chosen mainly to convince other, perkier Harvard Medical School students of the preferred gender to 'Come up to their room, honey, and try out this bong I designed for school...'