How does a sperm swim? While microscopes have captured the images of plenty of sperm before, it’s tough to track the motion of these wriggling cells in three dimensions. So scientists devised a new imaging method. They hit a sample of about 1,500 sperm with two different colored light sources oriented at a 45-degree angle. The different colors cast different shadows when they hit the cells, which allowed the researchers to reconstruct each sperm’s motion.
Is there any limit to the cool things you can do with Microsoft’s Kinect? Just last month we told you about students in Switzerland that used the device to create a gesture-controlled quadrocopter; now, students in California are looking to employ the Kinect in archaeological digs in Jordan.
The story of a PhD student weaving his way through a busy university corridor doesn’t usually make for breaking news. But then the average PhD student isn’t wheelchair-bound, visually impaired, and testing a new laser-based wheelchair navigation system. In front of a crowd of onlookers earlier this month, a student performed the first public demonstration of a wheelchair that lets blind people “see” and avoid obstacles, afterward remarking that it was just “like using a white cane” (presumably underselling the technology to blunt the jealousy blooming in the onlookers).
From the user’s perspective, the new high-tech wheelchair is quite simple: You hold a joystick in one hand to drive the motorized chair, while the other hand engages a “haptic interface” that gives tactile feedback warning you about objects in your path, be they walls, fire hydrants, or those mobile collision-makers called people.
The Silurian Period, 425 million years ago: As volcanic ash rained down on proto-England, a sea blob named Drakozoon gave its last. Now, using a computer model, scientists have finally witnessed what the soft-bodied ancient looked like in 3D.
Researchers first found a Drakozoon fossil six years ago in Herefordshire Lagerstätte, home to England’s mother-load of soft-bodied fossils. Such fossils are rare since most of these creatures decompose before a fossil can form.To capitalize on the find, a team chopped the Drakozoon fossil into 200 pieces, photographed those slices, and used a computer to construct a rotatable image of the old softy.
As Stephen mentioned yesterday, 3D HD TV is a big theme here at CES this year: Multiple manufacturers, including Sony, LG, Samsung, and Panasonic are all showing products. Panasonic is using LCD shutter glasses to make it happen–the glasses receive IR signals from the TV and alternately blacken each of the lenses to give each eye a slightly different perspective, and that binocular difference creates the 3D effect.
But perhaps most importantly, the glasses remind me of the classic 80s sci-fi B movie They Live, with super awesome wrestler-turned-actor Rowdy Roddy Piper (and one notoriously, ridiculously long fight scene) . Before The Rock, there was Roddy, God love ‘im.
By the way, there are apparently plans to remake They Live. This could end in disaster.