It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Breakthrough gives 3-D vision of ancient embryos

page: 1
0

log in

join
share:

posted on Aug, 10 2006 @ 12:37 AM
link   

Reuters source
A new technique allowing virtual dissections of half-billion year old fossil embryos is producing the first three-dimensional images of the dawn of life[...]"these fossils are the most precious of all because they contain information about the evolutionary changes that have occurred in embryos over the past 500 million years," [...]synchroton-radiation X-ray tomographic microscopy (SRXTM) leaves the tiny fossils untouched but gives graphic details of their structure.

The team used a 500-meter wide particle accelerator in Switzerland to deep scan the minute fossils and then fed the information into a computer which generated complete 3-D images of the internal structures in fine detail.

"The best analogy is with a medical CT scan ... but at 2-3,000 times the resolution," Donoghue said.


Its noted that this is comparable to the breakthrough of electron microscopy. Electron Microscopes started off as huge machines that were only at the biggest research centers, and now its commonplace for a small university to have at least one.

The development and origins of embryos is a fascinating field of study. More so than for mere purposes of cataloging specimins, the organization of the structure of life itself, or at least complex metazoan life, may hinge upon the forms and development of embryos. Consider the tunicates. These are tiny multicelled organisms that are sort of a link between non-vertebrates and animals with vertebra. They are sessile, they don't even look like animals, they just look like dumb little lumps with an opening at the top and are basically immobile. But their larvae look completely different, they have structures that look like prototypes of backbones, and they are free-swimming. Developmental changes have to occur to move them from the larval to the adult form.

The physical development of an individual is called 'ontogeny', the evolutionary development of a species is called 'phylogeny'. Some of the older or more biology inclinded members here may remeber the phrase "Ontogeny recapitulates Phylogeny". That idea in specifics is rejected, but its still a pretty neat thing to think of. In modern biology, there have been tremendous developments in understanding evolution, and similarly tremendous developments in understanding development. The next 'big thing' is tring to understand how they relate to one another, this field of study is called "Evo-Devo" or 'evolutionary development'.

There are very few larval forms of hte most primitive forms of multi-celled life, and they, understandabley, must be incredibly difficult to study.

This lab technique and technology will probably pay off tremendously in understanding these critical inter-relationships between evolution and development. I find it pretty darned exciting. Who knows, in 30 years, every university might have one, all sorts of researchers might have these devices sitting on their benches, ready for use and discovery.




posted on Aug, 11 2006 @ 03:13 PM
link   
I wonder if, after years of development, if this device will become usable in the medical field as well. After all, a CAT scan with that much resolution would be a godsend for many doctors, as it could eliminate the need for alot of different tests.



posted on Aug, 11 2006 @ 04:37 PM
link   
How can you miniturize such a huge machine to that extent though.... the resolution is mind boggling, I agree, and I also wonder if a larger particle accelerator will be able to achieve higher resolutions, but I also don't see how you can make such a device standard in Universities let alone Hospitols.



posted on Aug, 11 2006 @ 05:42 PM
link   

Originally posted by sardion2000
How can you miniturize such a huge machine to that extent though.... the resolution is mind boggling, I agree, and I also wonder if a larger particle accelerator will be able to achieve higher resolutions, but I also don't see how you can make such a device standard in Universities let alone Hospitols.


Well, look back 50 years to the old IBM mainfraims. No one thought it was possible to not only shrink those old monsters, but actually improve their storage, memory, computing speed, ect. Such things were unthinkable back then.

Now i think the average laptop today has more power than the old mainframes.

technology has the ability to do things that blow the mind.



posted on Aug, 11 2006 @ 06:15 PM
link   
When particle accelerators were first created, they were buildings. Now people are talking about benchtop accelerators. In the past, electron microscopes were big league, now, small universities have them.



posted on Aug, 11 2006 @ 07:17 PM
link   
I was asking a Technical question, not a philosophical one. How does the effect work(I don't really understand it really)? Does a bigger smasher produce finer detail ? How could one possibly downsize it if that is the case? I'm just trying to understand this is all.

[edit on 11-8-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Aug, 11 2006 @ 08:08 PM
link   
I have no idea on the technical operation of the device, or even the theoretical operation of it.

Here are some example shots:

Evolution of the Penis Worm
Here is the page of one of the organizations that are doing it:
sls.web.psi.ch...



posted on Aug, 11 2006 @ 08:35 PM
link   


posted by Nygdan

A new technique allowing virtual dissections of half-billion year old fossil embryos is producing the first 3 dimensional images of the dawn of life . . The best analogy is with a medical CT scan but at 3,000 times the resolution . . The development and origins of embryos is a fascinating field of study. Consider the tunicates . . their larvae look completely different, they have structures that look like prototypes of backbones, and they are free-swimming . . these fossils contain information about the evolutionary changes that have occurred in embryos over the past 500 million years . . There are very few larval forms of the most primitive forms of multi-celled life, and they, understandably, must be incredibly difficult to study . . this field of study is called "Evo-Devo" or 'evolutionary development' . . this lab technique and technology will pay off tremendously in understanding the organization of the structure of life itself, or at least of complex metazoan life, and may hinge upon the forms and development of embryos . . “ [Edited by Don W]


I can remember when the Commodore 64 was first offered to the public. It was soon followed by an upgrade to the Commodore 128. Then I think it went out of business. The computer was built into the keyboard. All you needed was a monitor and a tv would work, albeit poorly. Just look at the history of IBM. Their first computer - number cruncher - had 7,000 vacuum tubes and one burned out every 18 minutes.

Bell Labs invention of the transistor eliminated the problem of excess heat. Don’t they say CPU speed doubles every 8 months? And look at this cutting edge nano-technology. Maybe there will be a submarine that can traverse our bodies in the arteries. Will it be colored yellow?

This development is terribly exciting. We can begin to see Darwinism at work. Say Goodby to Creationism and its new nom de plume, Intelligent Design. Science marches on.



[edit on 8/11/2006 by donwhite]




top topics



 
0

log in

join