Science and Technology News

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Field of Skin Cells Magnified

A field of skin cells magnified one thousand-plus times. At this level of magnification, the stages of Mitosis, as well as skin cells and stem cells, can be viewed.

This image appears in the app Powers of Minus Ten (POMT), an innovative app that brings users into a microscopic 3-D world. The app was developed by Green-Eye Visualization, which was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program (grant IIP 10-14425) to develop and evaluate an interactive, contextual learning tool suitable for 21st century education. The program engages students in free exploration as well as guided study through timed mini games and other content-dependant activities.

There is strong potential for apps like POMT to revolutionize the way biology is taught to students. Initial studies on the effectiveness of POMT as an educational tool are promising. After just 12 minutes of play, certain groups of students demonstrated significant learning gains in their biology content knowledge, with many students reporting that they were more interested in science after playing POMT.

Future versions of POMT will be expanded to encompass other subjects including physics and chemistry, allowing users to further explore the relationship of scale in new microscopic worlds from the human level down to the nanoscale. [Text taken from Research in Action article, provided to LiveScience, in partnership with the National Science Foundation.] (Date of Image: 2011)

Credit: Laura Lynn Gonzalez, Green-Eye Visualization

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