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Of the many Eureka! moments experienced by scientists since Archimedes, Wilhelm Roentgen’s discovery of X-rays in 1895 was among the least auspicious.  When he trained his cathode ray apparatus on his wife’s hand and imaged the bones of her fingers, she recoiled and exclaimed: “I have seen my death!”

But first impressions can be misleading. Today, the idea of doctors using technology to look inside bodies has become as common as the stethoscope on their necks. “Radiology permeates all kinds of medicine,” says Jorg Debatin, chief technology officer at GE Healthcare. “The clinical power and incredible insight that modern-day medical imaging provides is staggering and impacts millions of patients every day.”

Debatin talked to GE Reports about medical imaging in connection with the International Day of Radiology, which falls on Nov. 8. GE Healthcare has decided to celebrate the event with a social media campaign called #SeeInsideIt. Workers at GE labs in Brazil, China, Hungary, Japan, Korea and the United States have imaged 100 everyday objects with X-rays, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Take and look at a sample, and good measure, don’t miss Mrs. Roentgen’s hand, the image that started it all.

imageTop image: An MRI animation of a cauliflower. Above: An MRI animation of a tomato. Image credit: GE Healthcare

imageAn X-ray image of a crab. Image credit: GE Healthcare

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An X-ray image on a Rubik’s cube. Image credit: GE Healthcare

imageAn X-ray image of an electric shaver. Image credit: GE Healthcare

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A CT scan of a lock. Image credit: GE Healthcare

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A CT animation of a grapefruit. Image credit: GE Healthcare

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An X-ray image of a pumpkin. Image credit: GE Healthcare

imageAn X-ray image of a coffee machine. Image credit: GE Healthcare

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A CT animation of a toothpaste. Image credit: GE Healthcare

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An X-ray image of a seashell. Image credit: GE Healthcare

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An X-ray image of fish. Image credit: GE Healthcare

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An X-ray image of a lobster. Image credit: GE Healthcare

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An X-ray image of eggs. Image credit: GE Healthcare

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A print of one of the first X-rays by Wilhelm Röntgen (1845–1923) of the left hand of his wife Anna Bertha Ludwig. (The bump on her second finger is her wedding ring.) It was presented to Professor Ludwig Zehnder of the Physik Institut, University of Freiburg, on 1 January 1896. Source: NASA