New application of microscopy software helps determine man's evolutionary progress with greater certainty
Syncroscopy says that announce Auto-Montage, its unique imaging
system, is helping researchers to save time and obtain accurate
images of difficult to see three-dimensional imaging levels of
Researchers at the US-based Hard Tissue Research
Unit (HTRU) used a unique portable confocal microscope (developed
by HTRU) in conjunction with Auto-Montage to capture and analyse
varying three-dimensional imaging levels of irregular bone and
The resulting Montage images are allowing them to
produce accurate images of rare early hominid skeletons (some of
which are several millions of years old), a task they have
previously been unable to perform.
Timothy Bromage, professor of
anthropology at HTRU commented: "These unique skeletons are
millions of years old and we are not allowed to section them to
look at their internal histology.
Auto-Montage is extremely
helpful here because we use it on skeletal elements, which have
been broken during fossilisation to capture images of both the
irregular surface of the fracture as well as the histology deep
to the surface.
The resulting montage image helps us understand
what is happening at various three-dimensional imaging levels of
the bone." "With the software we can generate two
important views of the specimen: we can produce a
three-dimensional image of the irregular surface; and we can
image the histology within this complex surface and collapse the
Z heights into a two-dimensional plane to generate one single
field of view.
Producing such accurate images of these hard
tissues makes it easier for us to chart man's evolutionary
progress with greater certainty," continued Professor
Bob Town, Syncroscopy's general sales manager
added: "We are delighted to see Auto-Montage being applied
to solving important yet unanswered evolutionary questions at
such a prestigious imaging facility.
Their work shows
Auto-Montage can quickly and conveniently produce more true to
life two-dimensional images of difficult to image
three-dimensional specimens, which makes it an essential tool for
microscopists demanding the same from their research."