Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 10th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Add in wavelength variation and see super detail with hyperspectral imaging

23 March 2020

To See Hue

We see colours as a mixture of red, blue and green, but other creatures like the mantis shrimp have hyperspectral vision – able to distinguish many more hues from a continuous rainbow or spectrum. This sensitivity has inspired the world of microscopy – with hyperspectral imaging now able to distinguish subtly-different wavelengths of light in cells and tissues labelled with fluorescent proteins. Here, new software, called SEER, spots such spectral 'fingerprints' from cells in this zebrafish, so they can be analysed further, or highlighted in different colours in this movie – so our relatively primitive eyes can see the distinction. Hyperspectral imaging, coupled with clever analysis techniques, may go on to detect previously hidden details in human tissues – such as subtle changes in early tumours growing among healthy cells.

Written by John Ankers

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

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.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at with translations by the University of Valencia.