Category Archives: Brain

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CT Scanner – Inner Workings Revealed

August 21st, 2013 | Brain, Robot

CT Scanner Without Cover

What is a CT Scanner? Are you sure this isn’t a Time Machine?

Well, CT stands for Computed Tomography.  The machine is basically a traditional X-ray machine that spins around the patient so that it can acquire many different images of the body.  A computer algorithm converts the images into layered scans to allow radiologists to sift through them looking for tumors, internal bleeds, pneumonia, and a range of other conditions. The final images look something like this.

CT scans are one of the most frequently ordered diagnostic tests in emergency departments in the United States (many say they are ordered way too much), so it’s important to know a little bit about how they work… And unfortunately, no, it is not a time machine.

Here is a labeled image to give you a bit more detail into how it works:

CT Scanner Without Cover Labeled

1: X-ray tube

2: High voltage power source and transformer

3: Scintillation detectors with 5 cooling fans

4: Fluid pump and radiator for cooling the X-ray tube

All of these components make 2 to 3 complete turns per second around the patient.

So how does the CT Scanner stay electrically powered while spinning?

To keep the machine charged without tangling the cords, CT scanners rely on the technology of the Slip Ring:

A Slip Ring is basically an electromechanical device that allows the transmission of power and electrical signals from a stationary to a rotating structure, in this case, from the base to the rotating scanner.  One difference between the image below and the slip rings of CT Scanners is that there is a pool of liquid metal molecularly bonded to the contacts instead of the sliding brush. This decreases friction even more to allow constant rotation of the scanner.


Slip Ring

Hopefully you found this interesting and at least somewhat easy to understand. For further reading, head here.


Animated GIF Art from Paolo Čeric

August 8th, 2013 | Brain

Paolo Čeric

Paulo Ceric Gif 2

Paulo Ceric Gif 33

Paolo Čeric Gif 44

Paulo Ceric Gif 5

Paulo Ceric Gif 6

Paolo Čeric Gif 7

Paolo Čeric is a renowned GIF artist from Croatia.  He uses a range of software (Adobe After Effects, Cinema 4D, and a computer programming language called Processing) to deliver ethereal orbs, blobs, discs, strings and whatever else his mind dreams up.

He runs a fantastic tumblr with literally hundreds more, so if you enjoyed these, check it out.


[via Colossal]

“More Than Human” – Striking Animal Portraits from Tim Flach

August 5th, 2013 | Brain

Monkey Tim Flach

Monkey Family

Monkey in Water

More than human Baboon Tim Flach

More Than Human Tim Flach

More than Human Tim Flesch

Tim Flach Panda Bear

Tim Flach Sting Ray

Flying 096

Tim Flach Pig

Photographer Tim Flach puts the viewer up close and personal with animals in his series titled, “More Than Human.”  The viewpoint is intimate to say the least.

Here’s a quote from the artist:

“The difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, is certainly one of degree and not of kind. We have seen that the senses and intuitions, the various emotions and faculties, such as love, memory, attention, curiosity, imitation, reason, etc., of which man boasts, may be found in an incipient, or even sometimes in a well-developed condition, in the lower animals.”

We live in an unbalanced relationship with our animal friends on this planet, relying on them for food, labor, entertainment, and companionship. I often hear vegetarians say that “animals are my friends, and I do not eat my friends!”  Of course, the carnivore trait is ingrained in our history and culture.  I wouldn’t expect lions to stop eating gazelles, but I do think it’s a good idea to at least question our relationship with animals. The more we learn about the brains of animals, the more we realize how similar they are to us. As Tim pointed out, they have consciousness, fear, curiosity, and a host of other emotions we identify as prototypically human.

Seeing the animals photographed in this intimate way destroys the artificial boundary placed between us.

Find more from Tim Flach at his site.


Haunting Drawings from Eunjung Shin

July 27th, 2013 | Brain

Eunjung Shin 1

Eunjung Shin 2

Eunjung Shin 3

Eunjung Shin 4

Abominable creatures, mutilated children, and spooky forests are all part of the nightmarish surrealism created by Korean artist, Eunjung Shin. I really love the dark style of pen & ink.  It works to conceive an appropriately gloomy atmosphere in each of the illustrations.

If you liked these, check out more work at indivisualplay.


[via Visual News]

Bacterial Patterns by Fernan Federici

July 8th, 2013 | Brain

Bacterial patterns by Fernan Federici 1

Bacterial patterns by Fernan Federici 2

Bacterial patterns by Fernan Federici 3

Bacterial patterns by Fernan Federici 6

Fernan Federici is a molecular geneticist at the University of Cambridge working in the Haseloff Lab of Synthetic Biology.  Using confocal microscopy, he captured these award-winning photographs of bacteria in their natural habitat. The organic growths are selectively dyed to create the stunning patterns.

You can find a large collection of science photography at Fernan’s Flickr site, and if you’re curious about his scientific background, head to his bio.


[via So Much Older Then]

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