A novel data storage project unshackles microscopy from data overload
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A novel data storage project unshackles microscopy from data overload

Jan Huisken’s zebrafish imaging lab,

A novel data storage project unshackles microscopy from data overload

by Brian Mattmiller | Morgridge Institute

In Jan Huisken’s zebrafish imaging lab, it takes a lot of data to capture a tiny fish.

Assembling a time-lapse video of the first 24 hours of development of a zebrafish — from a ball of cells to a fully-formed embryo with head, heart, spine and fins — has Huisken’s team cranking out terabytes of imaging data. For perspective, storing 10 terabytes of data would take about 7.3 million floppy disks, or 15,000 CD-ROM disks.

Huisken, director of medical engineering at the Morgridge Institute for Research, says data bottlenecks have become the greatest limiting factor in his research. Huisken is co-inventor of light-sheet microscopy, a richly detailed but data-intensive imaging technique that can max out a desktop computer’s storage in a single experiment. READ FULL STORY