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A Human Nose Like You Have Never Seen It January 25, 2008

Posted by Mrs Weird Scientist in Diseases, Easy As Pie, Human Body.
Tags: , , ,

CT Scan of Human Nose

Credit: Dr Kai-hung Fung of Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital in Hong Kong.

Who would have imagined that the examination of a 33-year-old Chinese woman for thyroid disease would result in the picture shown above? Dr Kai-hung Fung was a co-winner in the photography category for the 2007 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge. The contest is sponsored by the journal Science and the National Science Foundation. The picture is actually a computed tomography (CT) scan image that shows the intricate parts of the human nose. Fung described why he chose to use this particular woman for the scan:

[She had] a very straight nasal septum and wavy maxillary sinuses. The anatomy was exceptionally beautiful.

To actually create the stunning image, Fung layered 182 CT images to create the multi-dimensional image you see above, where you’re actually looking upward at the sinuses from underneath the head. If you’re curious to see other winning pictures and read all about the contest, you can see more here.

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1. Heather Koebcke - January 28, 2008

What a neat picture, I woul have never thought that it was a nose. It looks like a piece of art. It is so amazing what technology can do now. Looking at the picture I can’t even tell anything about the nose. I bet this was very time consuming to creat such an image. I don’t know much about health technology, but I appreciate when something new comes about.

2. Miss Weird Scientist - January 28, 2008

From what I read, it would seem to be really time consuming to create the image. This description was used on the Science journal website when the winners were announced (http://www.sciencemag.org/sciext/vis2007/):

“Normally, CT renderings meld slices together into smooth surfaces, but, in what he terms the ‘Rainbow Technique,’ Fung instead broke them apart, creating a topographical map of the airspaces described by the contour lines of individual slices, and colored according to the density of the tissues that border them. Fung digitally removed the bones, soft tissue, and fat from the rendering to create a solid “cast” of the sinuses’ air envelope.”

It is a really cool picture though. Initially, I thought it was a depiction of a woman’s reproductive organs. I can also see it looking fabulous simply on someone’s wall as a piece of artwork. Mind you, it won’t exactly complement my Victorian decor. :p

3. Dr. Kai-hung Fung - November 5, 2008

Dear Miss Weird Scientist,

It didn’t took long, a couple of minutes perhaps. But it did require a lot of imagination though!
Should your readers be interested, I can show a few more surprising images and perhaps videos as well.


Dr. Kai-hung Fung
Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital, Hong Kong

4. Miss Weird Scientist - November 7, 2008

Hello Dr. Kai-hung Fung: I am sure my readers would be happy to see additional images or videos. Thanks for the comment and keep up the interesting work!

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