April 30 - A computed microtomography video showing the intricate inner workings of the Dryops water beetle has won first prize in a prestigious international competition. Jim Drury has more.
A Dryops water beetle filmed from the inside out. The startling images were created by Granada University professor Javier Alba Tercedor using a high-resolution microtomograph. It consists of hundreds of high-resolution X-ray images with pixels measured in micrometers revealing the insect's inner workings, through the head, thorax and abdomen. The tracheal system, which traps air and allows the beetle to survive under water, can be seen in detail with individual organs separated by colour. The Dryops is a semi-aquatic beetle, one of approximately 2000 species known to exist world-wide. Revealing its inner workings through tomography, gives scientists a non-invasive tool for the intricate study of valuable specimens without causing them harm. Jim Drury, Reuters