Virtual reality software which allows researchers to ‘walk’ inside and analyse individual cells could be used to understand fundamental problems in biology and develop new treatments for disease.
The software, called vLUME, was created by scientists at the University of Cambridge and 3D image analysis software company Lume VR Ltd. It allows super-resolution microscopy data to be visualised and analysed in virtual reality, and can be used to study everything from individual proteins to entire cells. Details are published in the journal Nature Methods.
Super-resolution microscopy, which was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2014, makes it possible to obtain images at the nanoscale by using clever tricks of physics to get around the limits imposed by light diffraction. This has allowed researchers to observe molecular processes as they happen. However, a problem has been the lack of ways to visualise and analyse this data in three dimensions.
“Biology occurs in 3D, but up until now it has been difficult to interact with the data on a 2D computer screen in an intuitive and immersive way,” said Dr Steven F. Lee from Cambridge’s Department of Chemistry, who led the research. “It wasn’t until we started seeing our data in virtual reality that everything clicked into place.”
The vLUME project started when Lee and his group met with the Lume VR founders at a public engagement event at the Science Museum in London. While Lee’s group had expertise in super-resolution microscopy, the team from Lume specialised in spatial computing and data analysis, and together they were able to develop vLUME into a powerful new tool for exploring complex datasets in virtual reality.
“vLUME is revolutionary imaging software that brings humans into
Artful photos of sunsets and ice cream are being challenged by more activist content on Instagram as it turns 10 years old in a time of social justice protests, climate crisis, and the pandemic.
Founded in 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, the app had one billion users two years and has grown fast since then, after first capturing the public’s attention with its image filters, and easy photo editing and sharing tools.
But playful pictures, once a hallmark of Instagram, are increasingly seen as off-key when people are “losing jobs, being sick, isolated and depressed, then on top of that the BLM (Black Lives Matter) protests and everything going on with the US election,” reasoned Rebecca Davis.
In 2016 she created ‘Rallyandrise’, an account devoted to helping people engage politically.
“Not that there’s no time and place for pretty photos, but maybe people are trying to find a balance,” she said.
The number of people subscribing to the New York resident’s account has more than doubled to 24,000 in recent months.
In May, protests erupted across the US after a video was shared across social media of handcuffed Black man George Floyd dying while a police officer knelt on his neck for more than five minutes in Minneapolis.
Simultaneously, the pandemic had people hunkering down inside and spending more time than ever before online.
Overshadowing it all was the contentious presidential election in November.
“People were desperate for advice and guidance in doing something,” Davis said.
Online petitions, fund-raising and organizing became the norm and Instagram was prime terrain for the trend.
Former US presidential contender Hillary Clinton and celebrity Kourtney Kardashian among several public figures who have used Instagram to spotlight racial issues by handing over their accounts to prominent African-Americans for 24 hours.
“Instagram is our
Though 5G is now largely associated with smartphones, Verizon originally launched the next-generation cellular technology as a high-speed broadband solution, promising cable modem-like 300Mbps averages and 1Gbps peak data rates using millimeter wave 5G modems. Unfortunately, network buildout and local installation challenges limited Verizon’s footprint, so the company is addressing one of those pain points today with the 5G Internet Gateway.
The all-in-one wireless broadband device enables small business owners and individual users to access Verizon’s highest-speed 5G network without help from an installer, another welcome step forward for millimeter wave technology. Customers who might have needed scheduled visits from network technicians to set up 5G broadband service can now handle installation on their own using an augmented reality self-setup app. It’s as close to a turnkey enabling solution for mmWave “fixed 5G” service as has yet been seen.
Designed to minimize hardware footprints within a small office or home, the 5G Internet Gateway combines the 5G modem and Wi-Fi router in one white plastic box, rather than using separate pieces connected via cabling. After loading Verizon’s installation app, users are guided to mount the single box indoors on either a wall or window, confirming that a 5G signal is available before using an included adhesive bracket to secure the Gateway in a location. The box can be pivoted on the bracket for optimal mmWave signal strength, then locked into a specific angle for guaranteed coverage.
Verizon and its partners have worked steadily for the past two years to simplify the sometimes challenging process of transforming the 5G network’s high-speed mmWave signals into Wi-Fi that can be used across homes and small businesses. While mmWave has the potential to deliver download speeds comparable to fiber-based internet, its signals can be blocked by walls and some windows, making proper installation critical