Advanced Imaging


Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Scientific Imaging Explores Many Worlds


Fruit Fly Embryo
SUNY and AccuSoft Corp.
A fruit fly embryo. The study of these embryos is meant to study animal development.
Segmentation performed on nuclei.
Gene Expression Data
Rosetta Inpharmatics and Mathworks
This is an image of a 2-D clustering of DNA microarray gene expression data from breast cancer samples. Red indicates overexpression; green indicate underexpression. Patients with the expression pattern similar to the top of the plot generally have a poor outcome.
First-Degree Burn
Canada’s Institute for Biodiagnostics and The MathWorks
This is an image of a first-degree burn, generated in three wavelengths from a spectroscopic camera.

The software lets the scientists monitor protein levels in each cell of a developing embryo. Some 8,000 simultaneous channels can be monitored at once, providing data about how the body segments are generated. The lab's quantitative data analysis model has been created over a seven-year period using AccuSoft Corp.'s (Northborough, MA) VisiQuest software.

John Reinitz of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics at Stony Brook says the software has enabled the researchers to streamline and speed research. In addition, researchers can be "innovative in our study because of its ability to provide spatial as well as temporal data on gene expression," says Reinitz.

The Environment

Scientists around the world are working toward solving some of the environmental problems affecting the planet. Institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, Cambridge, MA), the University of Massachusetts (Amherst, MA) and Dartmouth (Hanover, NH) are working on various environmental and atmospheric sciences. Each of these institutions has taken images and use computer power in their research.

For example, at MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, researcher Chris Hill is working with fellow scientists at MIT and elsewhere to deploy advanced computing technology for studying phenomena including ocean circulation, weather systems, climate dynamics and seismic and mantle processes.

"Studying the Earth system is important to society, but it also presents fascinating problems in fluid dynamics, physics, chemistry, geology, hydrology and computer science," says Hill, whose modeling work in MIT's Program of Atmospheres, Oceans and Science incorporates a 16-processor SGI Altix server with 80 gigabytes (GB) of memory. Hill and his team also make extensive use of the 10,240-processor Columbia Altix supercomputer at NASA Ames Research Center.

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