New technology gives an unprecedented look inside capillaries!

New technology gives an unprecedented look inside capillaries!

-Music- 3D Capillaries. A new 3D imaging tool developed by Vadim Backman
and senior graduate student James Winkelmann at Northwestern University could assist in
early diagnoses of conditions ranging from cancer to cardiovascular disease. The National Science Foundation-funded technique
gives researchers a rare glimpse into the more than 40 billion tiny, hair-like blood
vessels called capillaries tasked with carrying oxygen and nutrients to the far reaches of
the human body. Called spectral contrast optical coherence
tomography angiography, the technique is similar to ultrasound, but uses light waves instead
of sound waves. The tool has many advantages over traditional
imaging: it doesn’t rely on potentially harmful radiation, or injected dyes
for contrast. The system is also able to take a clear picture
regardless of whether the area of interest is moving or completely still. While the technology cannot image deeper than
1 millimeter, the team is working to retrofit the system on the end of an endoscopic probe
for insertion into the body to provide up-close imaging of organs. A heart on its tail. A recently discovered dinosaur that wore its
“heart” on its tail is providing new clues to how ecosystems evolved on the African continent
during the Cretaceous Period some 100 million years ago. A research team from Ohio University discovered
the long-necked titanosaur sauropod in southwestern Tanzania. The National Science Foundation-funded team
discovered the partial skeleton of the dinosaur high in a cliff wall in the western branch
of the great East African Rift System, overlooking a dry riverbed. The excavation process spanned multiple years
and included researchers suspended by ropes to recover one of the more complete specimens
from this part of the sauropod dinosaur family tree. The team says this discovery will help them
understand more about the early evolutionary history of titanosaurs and biotic change on
the African continent during the Mesozoic Era. A new kind of thinking cap. What if a computer could detect your struggles
when you are trying to solve a math problem? A research team led by Worcester Polytechnic
Institute is working to develop a system to help researchers better understand brain activity
in an online tutoring environment that supports mathematics learning. Working with a $1 million grant from the National
Science Foundation, the team will spend the next three years collecting brain activity
data in an online learning environment. The team will examine college students grappling
with problems in developmental mathematics courses. Students will wear specialized caps with noninvasive
probes to measure brain wave activity while working with an online math homework tutoring
program called ASSISTments. The researchers will track brain activity
related to students’ pauses to evaluate whether the pauses are due to student frustration
(such as mind wandering) or their active engagement in mathematical problem-solving. With a better understanding of how, when and
what supports student pauses during the tutoring sessions, developers will be better able to
personalize the learning environment to the needs of individual learners. The team, which also included researchers
from Arizona State University and Lehigh University, says this research will tackle problems that
were previously intractable for neuroscience and cognitive science and will open up new
avenues for future research. For more information about these stories,
visit us at This is NSF Science Now, I’m Dena Headlee. Credits & Music

Comments (2)

  1. They didn't image 4e9 vessels, right? I already struggle with the analysis of 4.5e7 canals.

  2. Children and adults who face difficulty of learning is due to the consumption of lead, chromium, and cadmium in water and food.

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