Progress in biology is dependent on the ability to observe, measure, and model the behavior of organisms at multiple levels of abstraction, from the microscopic to the macroscopic. There has been a tremendous growth recently in the techniques to probe the structure and workings of cellular and organ-level mechanisms. Significant advances have been made in areas such as serial block face microscopy and knife-edge microscopy, which allow microstructure information to be gathered at unprecedented levels of both detail and scope. At larger spatial scales, it is now possible to image human whole-brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). At the same time, advances have also been made in gathering temporal image data streams from microscopic samples with the use of fluorescent and multiphoton imaging techniques. The increasing spatial and temporal resolution available, combined with advanced sectioning techniques are providing extremely content-rich data to biologists and put unprecedented power in their hands. The complexity of this data is a reflection of the complexity of biological systems, which contain 3D structures with multiple components, interacting with intracellular and extracellular variables.
This is also a game-changing development, since scientists are no longer limited to carrying out experiments to test a single hypothesis at a time. They are now able to vary multiple parameters simultaneously and observe several phenomena of relevance using multispectral techniques. This can be combined with recent advances in data mining techniques to determine relationships and correlations amongst the many variables of interest. This allows a significantly larger parameter space to be explored. The large amount of data being made available improves the capability of scientists to generate hypotheses and conduct experiments. As an example, assays can be performed where multiple cell populations can be simultaneously studied with varying ambient conditions such as temperature and intrinsic conditions such as concentrations of injected drugs. Such assays would be very useful to pharmaceutical companies interested in exploring the parameter space for drug development and discovery.
Today's bioimaging technologies generate mountains of biological data that can simply overwhelm conventional analysis methods. This groundbreaking book helps researchers blast through the computational bottleneck with high-performance computing (HPC) techniques that are blazing the way to never-before bioimaging, image analysis, and data mining capabilities and revolutionizing the study of cellular and organ-level systems. This innovative volume surveys the latest advances in scanning electron microscopy, knife-edge scanning microscopy, and 4D imaging of multi-component biological systems. The book includes detailed case studies that show how key techniques have been successfully deployed in medical image analysis, drug discovery, tissue analysis, functional MRI data analysis, and other areas.