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Posts Tagged ‘3D’
Digital caves are a revelation for tourists – and offer respite for ancient historical sites. Jane O’Brien explores how 3D recreations can be even better than the real thing. Atmospheric music greets visitors to Cave 220 – part of the Mogau Grottoes of Dunhuang, an oasis on the ancient Silk Road in China’s Gobi Dessert. A flickering torch offers a tantalising glimpse of the exquisite murals painted by Buddhist monks some 1,400 years ago. And then suddenly, the cavern is ablaze with light, its beauty fully revealed in dazzling colour and extraordinary detail. But this is not a real cave – it’s a virtual environment created by scientists in Hong Kong using technology that has only been available for a few years. The result is so realistic that it might become the only way to ‘see’ endangered historic sites and monuments in the future. “You wouldn’t be able to see any of this in the real cave because light exposure is so damaging,” says Jeffrey Shaw, director of Alive, the Applied Laboratory for Interactive Visualization and Embodiment at the City University of Hong Kong. (via BBC News – Digital Chinese caves preserve history)
When technology meets art, the results can sometimes inadvertently produce something that not only entertains, but also offers a tool for real scientific study. Such is the case with a new project in which an artist figured out a way to create an accurate self-portrait of his own skeleton. Dutch artist Caspar Berger wanted to virtually peel away the layers of his skin to reveal, in tangible form, a 100-percent accurate replica of his own skeleton. To accomplish this, Berger first had his body processed by a CT scanner, which gave him the 3D data he needed. He then took that data and used a 3D printer to fabricate silicone molds of his skull and upper arms. The resulting artificial bones are disturbingly realistic. Now, for the first time in history, humans can essentially see and touch their own skeletons, a development that could point to a shift in how we see ourselves aesthetically. Berger’s project could also suggest new way for doctors to examine patients when this process transcends art and inevitably catches on in the medical arena. You can see a brief video of Berger’s process in the video below. Via 3DPrintingIndustry (via Artist uses 3D printers to create a skeletal self-portrait | DVICE)
An team of Rutgers University scientists led by Richard H. Ebright and Eddy Arnold has determined the three-dimensional structure of the transcription initiation complex, the key intermediate in the process by which cells read out genetic information in DNA. In a paper to be published in Science and released online today at Science Express, the Rutgers scientists show how the “molecular machine” responsible for transcription initiation – a protein complex that consists of the enzyme RNA polymerase and the initiation factor sigma – recognizes a specific site on DNA preceding a gene, binds to DNA, unwinds the DNA helix, and pre-organizes the unwound DNA to enable subsequent reactions. “Determining the structure of a functional, specific transcription initiation complex has been a goal of researchers for three decades,” said Ebright, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers, a laboratory director at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers, and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The structure determined by the Rutgers researchers is the structure of a transcription initiation complex from a bacterium. The structure provides a foundation for understanding bacterial transcription initiation and transcriptional regulation and provides a starting point for developing new antibacterial agents that function by inhibiting bacterial transcription. Because the transcription machineries in bacteria and higher organisms are structurally and mechanistically related, the structure also provides a framework for understanding transcription and transcriptional regulation in higher organisms, including humans.
Thanks to developments in 3D printing technology, Beauty the Bald Eagle has a new beak and a new lease on life. The bird, who was shot in the face by a poacher in 2005, was rescued by Jane Fink Cantwell of Birds of Prey Northwest. Thanks to Nate Calvin of Kinetic Engineering Group, Beauty can use her new polymer prosthetic to feed herself, preen, and drink.Working with Nate Calvin from the Boise tech company, Kinetic Engineering Group (KEG), Birds of Prey Northwest has helped to restore a classic American symbol to her former glory. Using the 3D CAD software, SolidWorks, KEG was able to model the new beak with the input of a number of wildlife experts. (via Injured Bald Eagle Gets a New Beak Created with a 3D Printer | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building)
Tags: 3D, Biology, Complexity, Genes, Genetics, Science
The 3-D genome Writing the genome out as a string of letters invites a common fallacy: that it’s a two-dimensional, linear entity. It’s anything but. DNA is wrapped around proteins called histones like beads on a string. These are then twisted, folded and looped in an intricate three-dimensional way. The upshot is that parts of the genome that look distant when you write the sequences out can actually be physical neighbours. And this means that some switches can affect the activity of far away genes Job Dekker from the University of Massachusetts Medical School has now used ENCODE data to map these long-range interactions across just 1 percent of the genome in three different types of cell. He discovered more than 1,000 of them, where switches in one part of the genome were physically reaching over and controlling the activity of a distant gene. “I like to say that nothing in the genome makes sense, except in 3D,” says Dekker. “It’s really a teaser for the future of genome science,” Dekker says. Gingeras agrees. He thinks that understanding these 3-D interactions will add another layer of complexity to modern genetics, and extending this work to the rest of the genome, and other cell types, is a “next clear logical step”. (via ENCODE: the rough guide to the human genome | Not Exactly Rocket Science | Discover Magazine)