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Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

A Swiss Army Knife For Analyzing Three-Dimensional Images

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V3D image of a fruit fly brain

This 3-D volumetric image of a fruit fly brain was constructed with the V3D software suite.

Credit: Hanchuan Peng / Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) computer scientists have developed V3D, a software suite that features tools for visualizing, analyzing, and measuring complex, three-dimensional (3D) biological and biomedical images. The free software promises to greatly accelerate scientists' ability to assemble and manipulate extremely detailed images. The digital reconstruction tools are 17 times more reliable than those created using commercially available software, according to HHMI computer scientist Hanchuan Peng.

The HHMI team wrote algorithms to accelerate the rendering of the images on the screen. V3D allows the user to drag and drop the images to be analyzed, and to pinpoint a location in a 3D image with a mouse click.

"Since we have a very fast renderer for 3D images, we were able to design new approaches to manipulate very large images freely in real time," Peng says.

From Howard Hughes Medical Institute News
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