Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Stereological measurement

  1. Oct 12, 2007 #1

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    What is a stereological measurement? I am reading the syllabus of a lab class I might take in winter, and came across the term.

    "To begin our study of neurogenetics, we will make stereological measurements of serial sections of a series of mouse brains to determine its 3-dimensional volume. In so doing, we will be extracting an anatomical phenotype of a calibrated library of recombinant inbred strains (RIS) of mice for our use in genetic analysis."
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 14, 2007 #2
    Fancy way of saying "2D slices"?
     
  4. Oct 14, 2007 #3

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Thank you, Proggle. That's probably it. I have a feeling this prof is going to be a little bit on the verbose side.
     
  5. Oct 25, 2007 #4

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Sorry I didn't see this sooner. Actually, it's a bit more than that. Stereology is a methodology employed to study of brain tissue that involves considerations such as random sampling and appropriate sample size so that you can estimate not only volumes of brain nuclei, but also numbers of neurons within them without actually counting every single cell. There are a number of short-courses devoted entirely to teaching stereology.

    It's a good thing to understand if you plan to do neuroscience research, because inevitably, when conducting experiments in which you do not want to count every single cell in a brain (for example, you want to use the alternate sections to look at another cell type in the same brain), you will need to take into account "stereological considerations" of just how much you do need to count, and what process to use to do so in order to be sure you're not biasing your sample set.
     
  6. Oct 25, 2007 #5

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Thanks, MB. I appreciate the explanation. I was attracted to this lab because it involves lots of database work, but I think it will be pretty challenging.
     
  7. Jan 11, 2008 #6
    Stereology is much more than something used to study brain tissue.

    Stereology is a set of methods used to estimate geometrical quantities: volume, surface area, length, and number of objects. These correspond to measurements of 3, 2, 1, and 0 dimensional items.

    Stereology is used in many disciplines other than the neurosciences:
    1. forestry - length of roads, volume of timber
    2. range management - amount of forage
    3. petrology - determination of the content of rocks
    4. metallurgy - determination of the structure of metals
    5. archaeology - determination of the origins of objects
    6. paleontology - determination of the structure and relationships between fossils
    7. geography - land use studies

    ... This is a limited list ... Stereology is even used in CSI investigations!

    Devices for the analysis of materials employ stereological methods. Devices that point sample using Raman spectroscopy, x-rays, e-beams, and fluorescence all use sampling techniques to analyze exposed surfaces. The inference from the analysis of the surface to the constitution of the 3-d object makes use of stereological principles.

    Your syllabus refers to one of the basic stereological procedures: volume estimation. The same concept can be applied to determining the composition of a rock, metal, polymer, ceramic, concrete, etc.

    Proggles comment on "2-d slices" refers to the fact that the world is studied by flat images that are collected. In stereology these are referred to as sections if they are of 0-thickness. They are slices if the thickness is non zero. Cut a rock or metal and polish the surface. The result is a section. One cut is involved. Use two cuts to get a thin piece of the material and you have a slice. In practical terms a thin piece is a practical section if the objects being studied that have been cut are much larger than the thickness of the resulting slice.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2008
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Stereological measurement
  1. Protein measuring (Replies: 1)

  2. Calorie Measurement (Replies: 1)

Loading...