Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

MicroCAT A Welcome Sight To Geneticists And Mice

Date:
September 24, 1998
Source:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Summary:
Biologists studying genetic mutations and diseases will soon have a new ultra-high-resolution imaging tool to examine soft tissue and skeletal detail of mice and other laboratory animals -- without killing them.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Sept. 22, 1998 -- Biologists studying genetic mutations and diseases will soon have a new ultra-high-resolution imaging tool to examine soft tissue and skeletal detail of mice and other laboratory animals -- without killing them.

The MicroCAT system, developed by researchers at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), generates three-dimensional images with 10 times the resolution of conventional imaging systems. With MicroCAT, researchers no longer will have to rely on visible genetic markers and physical examinations to discover the presence of mutations. And, because they don't have to dissect the mice, researchers will be able to study the development of a mutation over several weeks or months.

"This means we can survey many offspring of mutagenized mice for organ or skeletal abnormalities and for changes that occur as a mouse ages or is exposed to different environmental conditions -- and then still breed the mouse for genetic analysis," said Dabney Johnson, a genetics researcher in ORNL's Life Sciences Division.

MicroCAT arose from Johnson and colleagues, quest for a better screening tool to study genetic mutations in the world's largest research colony of 70,000 mice at ORNL. The lab's biologists needed a device to quickly and cost-effectively screen the mouse colony, which represent about 400 mutant strains. That's why Michael Paulus and others in ORNL's Instrumentation and Controls Division became involved.

This new device, Johnson believes, will allow ORNL to be among the leaders in the effort to analyze gene function and identify mouse models of human genetic diseases.

"The imaging technology and the kinds of image analysis and reconstruction software that the Paulus team is integrating are revolutionary," Johnson said. "And this is the kind of thing that national laboratories like ORNL can do best because they have diverse resources and expertise."

Paulus and a team that includes Shaun Gleason and Hamed Sari-Sarraf, also members of the Instrumentation and Controls Division, are developing two versions of the MicroCAT. One uses a digital mammography detector with resolution of less than .05 of a millimeter. It can scan a mouse in a few minutes, or it can provide an X-ray in less than a second.

The second version uses a novel detector to measure the position and energy of each X-ray. Incorporating X-ray energy information into the image data set provides greater sensitivity to small variations in tissue density. It also allows researchers to acquire X-ray and nuclear medicine data.

"The nuclear medicine data tells biologists about metabolic activity in the mouse while the X-ray data provides high-resolution structural information," Paulus said.

Paulus and colleagues have already had success with a single-pixel energy-sensitive detector and are developing a multi-element detector array and associated integrated circuits to process the signals.

Ultimately, Paulus hopes the MicroCAT will allow automated screening of mice, which will enable genetics researchers to quickly scan mice and look at phenotypes using a computer program. This will become increasingly important as the worldwide effort to identify gene function intensifies.

Other potential uses for the MicroCAT include in breast cancer screening and possibly in certain industrial processes where precision imaging is important. Paulus believes the MicroCAT could be on the market within two years.

Funding for the project was provided by the Laboratory Directed Research and Development program. Others involved in development of the MicroCAT are Mike Simpson, Chuck Britton and Steve Hicks of the Instrumentation and Controls Division, Doug Lowndes of the Solid State Division and Russ Knapp of the Life Sciences Division.

ORNL, one of DOE's multiprogram research facilities, is managed by Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "MicroCAT A Welcome Sight To Geneticists And Mice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 September 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980924074402.htm>.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory. (1998, September 24). MicroCAT A Welcome Sight To Geneticists And Mice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980924074402.htm
Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "MicroCAT A Welcome Sight To Geneticists And Mice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980924074402.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

AP (July 30, 2014) River otters were hitting the water slides to beat the summer heatwave on Wednesday at Ichikawa City's Zoological and Botanical Garden. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins