Latest in Science

Image credit: Jaffe Laboratory for Underwater Imaging/Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego

Underwater microscope offers a brand new look at sea life

Scientists can study very tiny undersea organisms in their native habitat.
977 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Jaffe Laboratory for Underwater Imaging/Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego

Scientists have a hard time studying microscope sea life, and for good reason. Underwater scientific equipment can't study things at that scale, and bringing samples up to the surface frequently deprives them of that all-important natural context. Enter UC San Diego: its researchers have crafted the Benthic Underwater Microscope, the first undersea microscope that can study "millimeter-scale" activity in its native habitat. It combines a water-friendly computer with an imaging system that revolves around both a high magnification lens and a flexible, tunable lens that can see shapes in 3D. Combined with an LED ring light and fluorescence imaging, the system shouldn't be daunted by most water conditions or unusual specimens.

The technology is already paying dividends. Divers have already studied coral species fighting each other with chemicals, coral polyps hugging each other and algae invading in the midst of coral bleaching (when coral polyps eject as a result of hot ocean temperatures, leaving the coral vulnerable). And of course, there's a ton of potential. Scientists already want to study particles above the coral to see how water flow keeps it alive, and it's easy to see the microscope coming into play whenever lab studies just aren't enough.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
977 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Kik Messenger will keep running under a different owner

Kik Messenger will keep running under a different owner

View
Netflix's 'Cowboy Bebop' production pauses after John Cho is injured on-set

Netflix's 'Cowboy Bebop' production pauses after John Cho is injured on-set

View
Nike puts an accessibility twist on its iconic Air Jordan 1

Nike puts an accessibility twist on its iconic Air Jordan 1

View
Harley-Davidson resumes LiveWire electric motorcycle production

Harley-Davidson resumes LiveWire electric motorcycle production

View
Alphabet’s Wing starts drone deliveries to US homes

Alphabet’s Wing starts drone deliveries to US homes

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr