The worldwide effort to <i>grow</i> nanotechnology, rather than use lithography, focuses on diatoms, single cell eukaryotic
algae with ornate silica shells, which can be replaced by oxides and ceramics, or reduced to elemental silicon, to create
complex nanostructures with compositions of industrial and electronics importance. Diatoms produce an enormous
variety of structures, some of which are microtubule dependent and perhaps sensitive to microgravity. The NASA
Single Loop for Cell Culture (SLCC) for culturing and observing microorganisms permits inexpensive, low labor in-space
experiments. We propose to send up to the International Space Station diatom cultures of the three diatom species
whose genomes are currently being sequenced, plus the giant diatoms of Antarctica (up to 6 mm length for a single cell)
and the unique colonial diatom, <i>Bacillaria paradoxa</i>. <i>Bacillaria</i> cells move against each other in partial synchrony, like
a sliding deck of cards, by a microfluidics mechanism. Will normal diatoms have aberrant patterns, shapes or motility
compared to ground controls? The generation time is typically one day, so that many generations may be examined
from one flight. Rapid, directed evolution may be possible running the SLCC as a compustat. The shell shapes and
patterns are preserved in hard silica, so that the progress of normal and aberrant morphogenesis may be followed by
drying samples on a moving filter paper "diatom tape recorder". With a biodiversity of 100,000 distinct species, diatom
nanotechnology may offer a compact and portable nanotechnology toolkit for space exploration anywhere.
Frank Tipler, in <i>The Physics of Immortality</i>, wrote about how to spread a form of traveling artificial life throughout the
known, expanding universe, prior to collapse. The key is to make the ALife self-reproducing, permitting exponential
growth, like life itself, but faster. We ask whether microbial extremophiles could have originated in a single location at
an early phase of a big bang universe, and spread throughout the cosmos, as is commonly assumed in discussions of the
panspermia hypothesis? Since the universe was much smaller when the first condensed matter appeared, this hypothesis
merits consideration. In comparing particle horizons with <i>biohorizons</i>, we find that the answer is no: at our earliest
estimated time for the origin of life, 500x10<sup>6</sup> years after the big bang, if life started everywhere it could, there would
have had to have been at least 50,000 origins of life. In the course of our rough calculations, we introduce the concepts
of the generations of life (from microorganisms to consciousness), the Biocosmological Principle that life is spread
throughout the universe, life as a wave in an active medium, and the speed of life, i.e., the speed of ejecta from galaxies and lesser bodies on which life could be transported.
Possibility is experimentally demonstrated of measuring refraction distribution in non-homogeneous translucent objects using Shack-Hartmann sensors. Holographic micro-lens matrix of 13 X 19 lenses with diameter 0.5 mm and focal length 80 mm operating with simple market available CCD array resulted in the sensitivity to wave front measurements corresponding to 0.01 (lambda) .
We introduce a new method, the Image Correlation Technique (ICT), that automatically estimates the transformation of deformations (including large ones) between an image and a distorted version of that image. The outcome of the method is a displacement field. The geometric distortion that occurs between an undeformed (reference) and a deformed picture is, in general, unknown. Using new algorithms and simulation annealing, a well established global optimization technique, by rearranging pixels from a picture frame taken prior to the deformation (the reference picture), we arrive at the pixel arrangement represented by the picture frame taken after the deformation. The method works equally well for linear and non- linear cases. We present examples of deformation estimation for pairs of two-dimensional images. However, the method can be readily applied to three-dimensional objects such as those imaged by CT. By using ICT, we propose a new diagnostic procedure, Digital Differential Radiography (DDR), to find neoplasms, physiological liquid drainage, swelling or tissue necrosis, etc. We present examples of the deformation estimation for a pair of two- dimensional images of breast tissue and the result of the divergence calculation to pinpoint simulated tissue growth abnormalities. This new procedure for automatic detection of growing masses may be applicable to all imaging modalities, especially Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
While x-ray computed tomography (CT) is falling in price it is still beyond the means of most primary and secondary health care centres in the world. I would like to show how if a teleradiology system is installed there is a good prospect for also being able to install a simple but diagnostically effective CT system. This can be based on film used either as a one or two dimensional detector. 1. CT SYSTEMS The major components of a CT system are: 1) health care worker(s) who can decide which part of a patient needs to be imaged 2) an x-ray transparent bed on which a patient can be made comfortable positioned and restrained as necessary 3) an x-ray source mounted on a gantry 4) an x-ray detector mounted on the gantry 5) a digitizer for the x-ray signal 6) a computer to receive the signal 7) an algorithm that calculates the reconstructed CT image 8) a halftone or color display monitor 9) a radiologist who can interpret the images 10) communication from the radiologist to the health care worker(s). 2. BENEFITS OF CT VIA TELERADIOLOGY I would like to proceed on the premise that a teleradiology system could be placed between steps 6 and 7. This has the following benefits: a) Radiologists who are relatively scarce and generally located in urban tertiary care centres could serve people in remote areas
Conference Committee Involvement (1)
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XI
12 August 2008 | San Diego, California, United States