New fossil CT scans

 ICLIC2009-71We’ll never be able to say enough about the amazing cooperation we’ve received from every University of Iowa department we’ve approached for help in analyzing the sloth fossils.  That’s especially true of the Iowa Comprehensive Lung Imaging Center (ICLIC), which has given us access to one of the most advanced x-ray computed tomography (CT) imaging machines in the county to scan some of our sloth bones.  The Siemens high speed, high resolution, multi-slice scanner is one of the few in the country devoted entirely to human and animal research.

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Thanks especially to Eric Hoffman, Ph.D., Professor of Radiology, Physiology, and Biomedical Engineering (video);  Joseph Reinhardt, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering; Jerred Sieren and Lisa Hudson, research assistants in the CT lab; and Youbing Yin, a graduate student in the Mechanical Engineering program for processing the CT-scan files.

ICLIC, directed by Dr. Eric Hoffman, was created in 2004 with the help of a National Institute of Health (NIH) grant.  It’s a joint venture of the UI Carver College of Medicine including the departments of Radiology, Medicine, Surgery, Pathology, and Anesthesiology; and the College of Engineering including Biomedical Enginering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering; along with  Siemens Medical Systems.  The research team also includes investigators at the Mayo Clinic, John Hopkins University, Marquette University and the University of Texas, as well as the University of Aukland in New Zealand and the University of Erlangen in Germany.  The partners are using CT technology to build a dynamic model of normal human lung anatomy and function to use as a basis for  understanding and diagnosing various human lung pathologies

The CT technology and software being used to analyze the inner structure of human lungs has provided us with amazing pictures of the details of the interior of various sloth bones and may help us understand the origin and impact of the serious wounds that have been found on both the “toddler” and the adult.  The pictures below, slices of various bones as indicated,  show the exceptional state of preservation.  Lots more images in Flickr. . . . . Dave

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