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Paleontologist prints fossils in 3D Answered

French palaeontologist Paul Tafforeau has been using 3D lithography to make microscopic fossils, hidden in opaque blocks of amber, vsible for detailed study.

Using intense light from a synchrotron (a kind of particle accelerator), he illuminates the amber, revealing, so far, over 350 specimens of trapped insects in 2kg amber. Some of the species are new to science.

3D images are built up with micro-tomography, and these digital images are used to recreate millimetre-scale insects as plastic models at a scale that allows easy handling and visual study without needing microscopes.

BBC Story (included iPlayer video, which may not be viewable outside UK)


US. They think they can use DNA from fossils combined with bird DNA.

It was on the discovery channel. Do you get that? Or is there a Uk and a US discovery channel?

We have, it seems, several Discovery channels over here (History, Science etc). Since I don't watch much TV, though, I've missed it.

Oh, ok. I didn't get to see the whole thing myself. :(


10 years ago

Cool just like they do with a Raptor skull in Jurassic Park. How big the accelerator thingy? J.P's is only about the size of an office sized printer scanner combo. «TheJrb«

Cool. Did you see the special advertised on TV? They are talking about trying to do like Jurassic Park and clone a Compsognathus.

On UK or US TV?

They can't clone a compie, but they could recreate something similar by 'geneering a chicken. I know some work has been done in that direction (they've managed to stimulate tooth-growth in embryo chicks, for instance), but I don't know if they've worked up to a full dino-bird.

It would be cool if they did.

No scientific or agricultural worth, but very cool.