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University of Washington biology professor Adam Summers no longer has to coax hospital staff to use their CT scanners so he can visualize the inner structures of stingrays and other fish.Last fall, he installed a small computed tomography, or CT scanner at the UW's Friday Harbor Laboratories on San Juan Island in Washington state and launched an ambitious project to scan and digitize all of more than 25,000 species in the world. Like those used in hospitals, the CT scanner takes X-ray images from various angles and combines them to create three-dimensional images of the fish.Scans typically cost $500 to $2,000 each, but Summers' project provides free access to scans. Summers recalled how as a graduate student 17 years ago he bribed a hospital technician with Snickers bars to scan large stingrays in its CT scanner. CT scans offer a nondestructive way to study those bones.Some are making computer graphics models and animating the fish.
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