Imaging Technology Symposium at the Museum of Natural History Berlin Exceeded All Expectations

YXLON International and the Museum of Natural History Berlin (MfN) had invited to a three-day Imaging Technology Symposium. Under the title “Advances in Computed Tomography (CT) Technology for Life Sciences and Natural History Science Museum Collections”, renowned scientists from international universities and institutes shared their experiences on CT imaging in natural science applications. About 60 participants from the fields of biology, morphology, paleontology, and zoology gathered at the MfN from June 12 to 14 to hear ten high-profile lectures presented by, among others, Prof. Phil Manning from Manchester, Dr. Alexander Ziegler from Bonn and Prof. Julia Clarke from Austin. Additional agenda items included three guided tours through the museum’s collection as well as four workshops.
On the third day, guests had their chances to inspect their own specimens they had brought along.  These were scanned and analyzed in the museum’s microscopy room, directly behind Tyrannosaurus rex Tristan, in the high-resolution computed tomography system YXLON FF35 CT. This was a perfect opportunity to apply some information and tips from the previous days in practice. In the end, all participants agreed on the high quality of the symposium with regard to contents of the lectures as well as the guided tours and workshops.
Museums are increasingly utilizing non-destructive computed tomography for more than just scientific research – the digitalization of billions of specimens in natural and human history institutes around the world is also of growing significance. With the help of CT, valuable research objects can be examined in detail without the risk of damaging them through special preparation methods. Furthermore, the digital objects can also be made available to scientists throughout the entire world. This exchange between researchers across the globe not only enables new and innovative research methods but also safeguards preservation and archiving for the future. But especially biological and geological CT applications pose very unique challenges. Use of special filters and trajectories, optimal balance between performance and resolution, contrasting, staining, and other ways to produce the best images: all these details are primarily based on experience. The symposium managed to promote the exchange of these valuable experiences in order to advance science and systems technology.

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Gina Naujokat
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