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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Technology Update

Air Date: Week of

Living On Earth’s Cynthia Graber reports on a new holographic camera that can take shots of life under the sea.


GRABER: Plankton, among the ocean's smallest creatures, play a crucial role in ocean ecosystems. But until now scientists have had a hard time understanding what makes plankton tick. Such basic things as where they are and what they're eating can be difficult to figure out. They can be seen under a microscope, but that's not the same as watching them in their home turf. Now, a group of international researchers have teamed up to develop the holocam, an underwater holographic camera that takes incredibly detailed three-dimensional photos of life under the waves. Still, once the photos are developed, the smallest plankton might look like nothing more than twinkles. So scientists use a TV camera to zoom in even closer. The detail and depth of the holographic picture is so exact, scientists say, that the image produced looks as if you could reach in and scoop out a handful of plankton. That's this week's technology update. I'm Cynthia Graber.



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