Many researchers think that the iconic images of snow flakes are fake. Super fast imaging does show something quite different.
In both the fMRI imaging and the microscopic imaging we saw the last two days a major achievement was making sense of big data and creating visualizations to show the meaning. Advances in imaging give us huge amounts of data to be mined for meaning. One approach is to create a new business putting big data into useful forms. Our videos today show this approach by a company tracking our environment and a company tracking illegal fishing.
Often mining big data is just one step toward obtaining useful results. Here this step is a cost and not a business opportunity. For example, we have monster data sets of weather data which must be studied to find meaningful results to use in models which can predict environment changes. An approach here is for citizen scientists to study the data and find those meaningful results.
We are better at spotting meaning than computers. We are more plentiful. We are less expensive. And, we enjoy being helpful. We will do this.
We help sustain Earth [blog link]
The fMRI imaging we saw yesterday shows us extra blood in a brain where something is happening. But, what is happening there? We do not know. We do not have a complete view of brain parts and of connections among those parts. Our first video today shows a way to get a better microscopic picture. As we move through the 3D image it looks like the parts are moving. They are not. We are moving.
Our second video today shows the impressive result — a full 3D microscopic image of tiny portion of a mouse brain — published mid-2015.
This work was published 30 Jul 2015 in Cell, a top peer reviewed journal. The on-line publication includes a video abstract telling more about meanings of the result.
On-line publication [cell link]
On-line publication video abstract [mp4 version]
We saw trustworthy science give us trustworthy evidence. We saw reliable and sensitive imaging. We have less uncertainty about brain structure and new mysteries about brain connections. We saw persons with diverse skills sets and diverse points of view share the work.
We start today watching a brain listening to "Adios Nonino," a Tango Nuevo by Astor Piazzolla. The research producing this video was published in Science a top peer reviewed journal.
Those brain on tango images were obtained by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In MRI magnetic moments of nuclei of atoms (Hydrogen for example) in the brain, aligned by a very strong magnetic field, are caused to resonate between energy states. Energy emitted when nuclei change energy state is detected. In fMRI parts of a brain engaged in the function get more blood (which is mainly water) so that energy signal from those parts is greater. After much computation an image is formed showing parts of the brain getting greater blood (red in our tango video).
In our tango video that function was listening to tango. In our next vdeos that function is thinking about words, or ideas, or something else. Our next video is by Nature Publishing Group, a for-profit publisher. Nature is a top peer reviewed journal.
Our last video is by our National Science Foundation which funded this research. The "Science Nation" series of NSF videos toots the NSF horn by showing how basic science gives us useful results. We also have a link to an NSF story about the research.
These two videos give us great opportunities to ask questions relevant to making our recommendations about the videos and about the work.
When — nearly 50 years ago now — we saw this view of Earthrise taken by the crew of Apollo 8 orbiting our Moon we saw our Earth a new way. Many of us were moved to recharge our commitment to good stewardship of our planet.
Another story which unfolded over those 50 years is the story of huge improvements in imaging and in data visualization. At every wavelength of light from the highest energy gamma rays through visible to long radio waves we have ever more sensitive imaging means. We have ever more sensitive means for imaging with sound and magnetic resonance. We just succeeded in detecting gravity waves.
Along with those great improvements in imaging we had great improvements in visualizing the data. This is thanks to our great increases in computing power and thanks to very clever software. Today we start with some iconic visual images, explore kinds of imaging from space, and are treated to NASA showing off data visualization.
Tuesday and Wednesday we will see some amazing views of our brains. Thursday we find out what snowflakes actually look like. Friday we see how visualization of big data can be used for tracking..
Daily blog posts and these topical links, curated mainly from daily posts, at least support citizen science groups [link] making science policy recommendations. This list grows daily and sometimes reorganizes.
European Southern Observatory [blog video link]
European Southern Observatory star wobble hunt [blog video link]
Citizen science asteroid hunt [blog video link]
Observing a protoplanetary disc around a distant star [blog 2 video link]
"Observing" a black hole [blog 2 video link]
11 Hubble Space Telescope videos [blog 11 video link]
Webb space telescope [6 videos link]
Webb update [blog video link]
NASA's next WFIRST space telescope and citizen science [blog video link]
Remembering Apollo [3 videos blog link]
Rosetta and lander Philae [5 videos link]
Dawn mission web site [Dawn site via blog link]
New Horizions Pluto flyby and beyond [blog video link]
Vacation in a Moon village? [blog video link]
Asteroid capture and redirect mission [blog 2 video link]
Mars gravity [blog video link]
Exploring neutrinos, the most odd "elementary particles" [blog 4 video link]
Synchrotron light [blog video link]
Imaging and data visualization
Imaging and data visualization [blog 3 video link]
Snow job [blog video link]
Our origins, Richard Leakey [blog long video link]
fMRI mapping ideas or words or something in brains [blog 3 video link]
Microscopic brain imaging [blog 3 video link]
BRAIN initiative [4 video link]
Prostheses [4 video link]
Our brains doing trustworthy science [blog video link]
Gravity waves detected [blog video link]
We changed our world — Whoops! [8 video link]
Big data tracking our environment [blog 2 video link]
Why measure raindrop size? [blog video link]
NASA's remotely flown Global Hawk helps NOAA's work [blog video link]
A clever way to measure electric fields in the atmosphere [blog video link]
NASA's Ionospheric Connection Explorer mission and satellite [blog video link]
NASA Earth expeditions 2016 preview and tour [blog 2 video link]
Disaster data is shared [link]
Our Best Hope Is Us
Lily tricked Parkinsons [4 video link]
Changing energy use habits [video blog link]
3D printing maybe [blog 4 video link]
Advanced materials [blog video link]
Machine learning — friend or foe [blog video link]
A lobster community adapts through participatory planning — Young engineers helping with clean water in Kenya [blog 2 video link]
We Do Best When We ALL share
We share [4 video link]
We learn from our recent detection of gravity waves [blog video link]