Bearded dragons are becoming more common as household pets, and they are the most common lizard species seen in veterinary medicine. The research being conducted by Brad Sutton, a professor of bioengineering and the technical director of the Biomedical Imaging Center, in collaboration with vet med researchers Kari Foss and Krista Keller, will help develop a protocol for how to safely sedate the creatures, as well as perform an MRI. From Sutton: 

It is challenging to get spatial resolution sufficient to see disease in the brain of a bearded dragon using a clinical MRI machine designed for humans. It is important to understand what a healthy bearded dragon’s brain looks like, and to understand the variation across different animals.

The information collected through this study will help veterinary clinicians better diagnose and treat the reptiles.The research team is using seven bearded dragons from a research and study colony, and the imaging is happening in a safe and non-invasive way. You can read more here.

Top image from Beckman Institute website.