Advanced Imaging

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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: January 12th, 2011 10:01 AM CDT

From the Lab to Mars

Imaging plays roles ranging from cell research to mapping Mars
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By Barry Hochfelder

This month's issue looks at such seemingly unrelated things as firefly genes, vocal folds, outer space and holographic data storage. Of course, they're all tied together by electronic imaging.

Scientists at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center are using the firefly gene in a process called bioluminescence—the conversion of chemical energy into light in living organisms. In animal research, cancerous tumor cells are inserted into a mouse, and then the firefly gene is injected into the body and becomes part of the cell as it divides. The technique, which requires a sensitive CCD camera, can be used to determine the effectiveness of cancer drugs that choke off a tumor's blood supply. For more, see the story on Page 12.

Still on the medical research path, there's an interesting project being conducted at the University of South Carolina where a new, five-year study examines movement of the vocal folds (sometimes called cords) via Laryngeal High-Speed Videoendoscopy (HSV). About 7.5 million people in the United States suffer vocal disorders involving problems with pitch, loudness and quality. To learn more, see Page 16.

What's up in space? CCD sensors from Kodak are in cameras on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, mapping the planet and searching for signs of water. Daily weather data for Mars is collected by the orbiter using the Mars Color Imager (MARCI), a camera that monitors the surface and atmosphere of the planet across five visible and two ultraviolet wavelengths. For more, see Page 8.

We all know how the amount of information that needs to be processed in image capture systems has grown exponentially over the past decade. High-speed CMOS image sensors produced by Cypress Semiconductor and specifically laid out for motion capture at high frame rates can be applied in holographic data storage systems. Their resolution ranges from 0.4 up to 3Mpixels; they run at 485 full frames per second. To learn how, see Page 20.

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