Studying these cells could lead to new treatments for diseases ranging from gastrointestinal disease to diabetes.
An exhibit focusing on the life and work of the late MIT Professor Harold E. (Doc) Edgerton is on display at the Museum of Science now through October 13.
"Seeing the Unseen: Dr. Harold E. Edgerton and the Wonders of Strobe Alley" opened last Friday (June 7). It includes a number of his famous stop-motion photographic images--such as a hummingbird in flight and the first millionth of a second of a nuclear blast--and also recreates key elements of his lab with demonstration stations, laboratory teaching stations and a strobe activity area.
Visitors can manipulate electronic flash units and variable-rate strobe lights, simulating Professor Edgerton's electromechanical experiments. Another exhibit area, the Light Wall, allows visitors to briefly capture split-second images of themselves or other objects on a phosphorescent wall.
The exhibit also explores the life of Professor Edgerton, who died in 1990 at the age of 86. There are interactive CD-ROM stations and a mini-theater featuring a 15-minute biographical film and another short film featuring his high-speed photographic work, Quicker 'n a Wink, which won an Academy Award in 1940.
Admission to the museum is $8 for adults and $6 for seniors over 65 and children ages 3-14. For more information, call 723-2500.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 12, 1996.