This 281-Gigapixel Image Depicts An Entire Animal At The Cellular Level

This might just look like a microscope image of some strange life form, but it's actually a massive 281-gigapixel image of a zebrafish embryo. New technology allows you can zoom in on it to show sub-cellular levels of detail.

The image is the product of a new technique, called virtual nanoscopy, which is described in the Journal of Cell Biology. The process involves stitching together nanometer resolution photographs of what's placed under the microscope, and the result is an image that can be explored a little like a Google Map.

To give you some sense of scale, the whole embryo, pictured above, measures 1.5 millimetres in length. At the other end of the scale, the dark dots in the image below are cell nuclei. Mind. Blown. [JCB]

Images: Frank G.A. Faas et al

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    I believe the correct terminology for this situation is "Sheeeeeeeeeeiiiit..."

    Absolutely incredible...
    If you do a little bit of digging, there's also ones available for a mouse embryo, mouse liver tissue and human skin tissue.

    Well, it IS a microscope image....
    True it is a large field of view microscope (1.5mm)

    There is nothing different in the (essential) image acquisition hardware from a microscope to a camera to a telescope... Lenses are still used to focus the light.... and the image is captured....
    Yep really incredible what can be done these days, say the image is 131GB at even only 16 bits that is a load of information.
    1.5mm / 362k (pixels across assuming a square detector, that should give ~4nm resolution... ok seeing 100microns (0.1mm) is about the limit of human eye resolution, that's around 250 times magnification, that's not that great, the good part is the large field of view (and the huge memory needed to manipulate and display the image.) Of course if they reduce the field of view (using the microscope optics) to 1 micron then it is getting impressive.

    The real use for this technology is in Military surveillance, and the ability to image state level in one photograph imagine converting this to 100km aperture, then the resolution will be around 0.27m that is less than 1 foot resolution....
    Or to put it into more real terms, at 20km image diameter, 5.5cm resolution, ok still not good enough to read a number plate, but it is enough to adequately survey a whole medium sized city simultaneously...
    Lucky the computers needed to make the data mean anything are larger than the average drone, and the bandwidth this would need to send a real time stream isn't available. (It could read a newspaper 1km across in one image, that's cool and more impressive than looking at a frog egg (or whatever))

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