coral under laser confocal microscope

A laser scanning confocal microscope generates vibrant coral images. (Photo courtesy Gates Lab)

Corals are already beautiful when seen with the naked eye, but for scientists at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, observing corals in this manner is simply not enough.

As part of a new PBS Digital Studios series called UnderH20, viewers see live corals—and their associated microorganisms—from a whole new perspective.

Using a revolutionary new tool, a laser scanning confocal microscope, scientists at the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology generate images that are one part art and one part science.

The video, The Microscopic World of Corals, shows audiences this amazing new technology. They’ll see corals in a way they’ve never seen before.

The laser scanning confocal microscope at HIMB that visualizes the beautiful biology captured in this video was purchased with funds donated by Pam Omidyar in 2010.

A UH Mānoa news release

PBS’s UnderH20

More on coral reef research related to the visualization

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