Plants are part of the foundation of life on Earth, so it's probably important for us to learn as much about that as we possibly can. May as well, right? Scientists are investigating more about our planet's flora every day, but one area that's given them a hard time is observing them under a microscope. More specifically, it's hard to chart their growth and take video at microscopic levels because just when we get plant roots in focus, they grow in ways that make it hard to track them effectively. Now, though, a team of researchers from the Institute of Science and Technology in Austria has come up with a way that lets microscopes track moving objects automatically (via Engadget).
This group has also been able to create 3D videos by using lasers and glowing proteins to piece together images in three dimensions. Scientists can now get a closer look at how the cells in root tips grow and split, which all sounds and looks cool, but there are very practical applications for this process as well. Because the modified microscope allows the plants to grow upright or at pretty much whatever angle we please, this new technology is teaching us, for example, about how plants could grow in outer space.
This technique has also been applied to non-plant objects, like zebrafish embryos, so the potential uses for this technology could allow us to learn a lot about tiny moving things. It's also cool if, you know, you just like watching plants grow in 3D. Let us know if you do in comments below!
Featured image: YouTube/Science Magazine