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Scientists are using imaging software and high-powered computing systems to help answers questions that have been asked by mankind since the beginning of time — questions such as "Where do we come from?" and "What is out there in space?"
Scientists are working at the macro level to explore our environment as well as the molecular level striving to find new ways to diagnose and treat sickness and disease.
"Scientists often need to design innovative image processing algorithms, perform novel visualizations or analyses and use a potentially wide range of image capture devices," says Bruce Tannenbaum, marketing manager, Image Processing and Geospatial Applications, The MathWorks Inc. (Natick, MA). "At the same time, these scientists don't want to waste their time on low-level details like device drivers, basic math routines or standard image-processing algorithms."
A Look Inside
Technology allows scientists to look inside a problem, literally. For instance, at Silicon Graphics (SGI, Mountain View, CA), a visualization theater allows researchers to image a molecule and take a tour through its nooks and crevices.
In another example, scientists at the State University of New York at Stony Brook are studying animal development by analyzing fruit-fly embryos. The study is called the Physiological Model of Gene Regulation in Drosophila. The researchers are working to "visualize" the chemical blueprint from the fly's body as it forms.