Image of the Day: Guess Whose Leg  

Scientists have developed a computer tomography device capable of visualizing objects at nanoscale. 

Nov 8, 2017
The Scientist Staff

A 3-D X-ray image showing the intricate surface of a velvet worm’s leg (left) and a view inside the tissue with highlighted muscle fibers (right)  MUELLER,  PFEIFFER / TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF MUNICH  Scientists from the Technical University of Munich have developed a computer tomography device that can create three-dimensional X-ray images of objects at resolutions of up to 100 nanometers. In a first, researchers tested the Nano-CT device to visualize the intricate limbs of a velvet worm–which are no longer than 0.4 millimeters–and glanced at the muscle within. Velvet worms are land-dwelling relatives of the insects that belong to the Onychophora phylum, meaning “claw-bearers.”

M. Müller et al., “Myoanatomy of the velvet worm leg revealed by laboratory-based nanofocus X-ray source tomography,” PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1710742114, 2017.