Feb 18, 2010

Making Light Audible

If you haven't read the near death experience posts, please do. You can find the link to the left on the sidebar titled "Near Death Experience". I wanted to repost an excerpt from an article detailing advances in science and health.

"The sound of light: Innovative technology shatters the barriers of modern light microscopy
June 30, 2009 In the past, even modern technologies have failed to produce high-resolution fluorescence images from this depth because of the strong scattering of light. In the Nature Photonics journal, the Munich researchers describe how they can reveal genetic expression within live fly larvae and fish by "listening to light". In the future this technology may facilitate the examination of tumors or coronary vessels in humans.

Since the dawn of the microscope scientists have been using light to scrutinize thin sections of tissue to ascertain whether they are healthy or diseased or to investigate cell function. However, the penetration limits for this kind of examination lie between half a millimeter and one millimeter of tissue. In thicker layers light is diffused so strongly that all useful details are obscured.

Together with his research team, Professor Vasilis Ntziachristos, director of the Institute of Biological and Medical Imaging of the Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health and chair for biological imaging at the Technische Universität München, has now broken through this barrier and rendered three-dimensional images through at least six millimeters of tissue, allowing whole-body visualization of adult zebra fish.

To achieve this feat, Prof. Ntziachristos and his team made light audible. They illuminated the fish from multiple angles using flashes of laser light that are absorbed by fluorescent pigments in the tissue of the genetically modified fish. The fluorescent pigments absorb the light, a process that causes slight local increases temperature, which in turn result in tiny local volume expansions. This happens very quickly and creates small shock waves. In effect, the short laser pulse gives rise to an ultrasound wave that the researchers pick up with an ultrasound microphone.

The real power of the technique, however, lies in specially developed mathematical formulas used to analyze the resulting acoustic patterns. An attached computer uses these formulas to evaluate and interpret the specific distortions caused by scales, muscles, bones and internal organs to generate a three-dimensional image.

The result of this "multi-spectral opto-acoustic tomography", or MSOT, is an image with a striking spatial resolution better than 40 micrometers (four hundredths of a millimeter). And best of all, the sedated fish wakes up and recovers without harm following the procedure.

You can read the full article here http://www.physorg.com/news165578271.html

Color, light and sound are literally the same thing..

Feb 14, 2010


New painting purchase from ebay!
Artist is Beverly Haynes.