A new technique for 3D imaging of non-transparent subjects can be used to track developing organisms
Much biomedical research seeks to investigate what’s beneath the skin, revealing the hidden mechanics of our organs and cells. But these inner workings impact the surface too, and getting the whole picture requires monitoring every aspect. For example, to learn fundamental facts of animal development, researchers often track the early interior growth of a fruit fly – a common scientific test subject – in minute detail, but stop when the fly takes shape and monitoring becomes more challenging. A new technique for 3D imaging of objects provides the opportunity to continue the study further, allowing the subtle surface dynamics of a developing subject to be precisely tracked over time, and the large-scale consequences of microscopic events observed. The technique records colour and doesn’t require the subjects to be transparent or x-rayed – a limitation of previous approaches – and in initial tests and showcases has revealed details of flies, tadpoles, and even LEGO.
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.
BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.