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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.
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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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An Ordinary Person With An Extraordinary Idea January 8, 2008

Posted by Mrs Weird Scientist in Environment, Psychology and Behavior, Science and Politics, Think About It.
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According to the National Endowment for Science, Technology and Arts (NESTA), special ideas come from ordinary citizens. As ordinary as you or I? You betcha! Better still, NESTA is out to prove the validity of this statement by offering £1 million ($2 million Cdn) to the winner and finalists with the best ideas for tackling climate change. The Big Green Challenge aims to encourage creative and successful thought about how we can reduce carbon emissions.

Carbon Emissions The competition, however, is only open to charities and non-profit groups who can come up with an idea for reducing carbon emissions by 60 percent or more. Ten finalists will receive £20,000 ($40,000 Cdn) plus lots of mentoring and support to make their fabulous and innovative ideas a practical reality. What about the winner? Well, the group with the most amazing idea receives the remaining share of the £1 million, which will hopefully help them get their idea up and running.

Think Big!

NESTA conducted a really cool survey that found 9 out of 10 people believe they have come up with an idea that can impact people’s lives. So why don’t you or I hear about these great ideas? The survey found that most of these ideas never come to fruition because people just don’t know exactly what to do with them. Another problem is that people aren’t confident and they also fear the ideas being rejected. Think about what this means for the world. There are perhaps millions of wonderful ideas floating around in heads all across the world, but they won’t ever become a reality. Hopefully, however, this new contest will change all that!

It’s Not So Easy

To win the contest, contestants will have a lot of thinking to do! They must obtain a significant reduction in carbon emissions – 60 percent is no small amount but the environmental effects will be impressive! The winner must also involve the entire community and prove that their idea can be replicated in other settings. So, this means developing an idea that applies to the entire world – not just one city.

Interested to find out more about the challenge or perhaps share the information with a charity you think might be interested to enter? Read more here.

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