Umbra Composit could scan the world in 3D to the detail of a single grain of sand

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Umbra shows a scan of Helsinki.

Last year, Umbra unveiled a tool called The Composit that will let you upload a complex 3D model to the cloud and then view it on any device. Now, the Helsinki, Finland-based company is showing how it can create a huge web-based virtual model of a city that can put something like Google Maps to shame.

Umbra claims its tech could scan the whole world down to the detail of a single grain of sand. It could be done via a kind of crowdsourcing, using only people with smartphones who use their devices as scanners. That might sound outlandish, but the company is already well under way with that mission in its native Finland.

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Nanoscale Imaging

Nanoscale Imaging 

Donut shaped blood cells

By using nanoptical scanning probe microscopes, scientists are able to reveal the going-ons inside humans and animals with stunning clarity. Take the above set of donut-shaped blood cells – which have been treated with an antibiotic called phyllomelittin taken from the skin of a monkey frog – now decidedly more appetizing than when in a normal, bloody-looking state. (I’m sure many of you relaxed back into your seat Homer Simpson-style with an “Mmm… Monkey frog donuts…”)

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