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Tiki_Goddess Olympus NanoZoomer
None (2012)
  • George McNamara

Tiki_Goddess is a 40x15 mm mouse tissue section, stained using Masson's Trichrome. This image was scanned on an Olympus NanoZoomer digital slide imaging system. I purchased the slide from Carolina Biological Supply Co.

A 6'9" printout (81" = 206 mm), the same height as Alonzo Mourning, a famous (at least in Miami) Miami Heat basketball player is in the hallway outside my main imaging core facility laboratory.

For those of you unfamiliar with a "Tiki", the Wikipedia page on it starts with: "Tiki refers to large wood and stone carvings of humanoid forms in Central Eastern Polynesian cultures of the Pacific Ocean. The term is also used in Māori mythology where Tiki is the first man, created by either Tūmatauenga or Tāne. He found the first woman, Marikoriko, in a pond – she seduced him and he became the father of Hine-kau-ataata. In the Māori language, the word 'tiki' was the name given to large wooden carvings in roughly human shape, although this is a somewhat archaic usage. The carvings often serve to mark the boundaries of sacred or significant sites." Tiki's are similar to the totem poles of Pacific Northwest indian tribes.

Tiki_Goddess came about because the first time I scanned in the mouse slide, on a Meyer Instruments Pathscan Enabler (~9 Mb image available on this site), my supervisor at the time, Dr. Tom Coates (Childrens Hospital Los Angeles) said, "that's a Tiki!" (ok, maybe he left out the "!"). We both connected a Tiki with a deity, so it became "Tiki_God". That first scan was headless, because the Pathscan is a modified 35 mm slide scanner that could only scan up to 36x24 mm at a time. I returned to the lab, scanned in the head, Photoshopped it on top, and called it Tiki_Goddess.

The question quickly came up: male or female? CHLA had some excellent developmental biologists, including Dr. Vesa Kaartinen (now at Michigan), who could not tell. Eventually the consensus was that the sex organs were not present in the tissue section. In January 2007 I visited Dr. Robert Cardiff, Dr. Sandy Borowsky, and colleagues at UC Davis - expert mouse pathologists (yes, these exist and are needed) - who said the mammary glands were from a young femal mouse. Case closed.

Tiki_Goddess has been my imaging core mascot at both CHLA and now at University of Miami. Our core would welcome donations so we can purchase digital projectors to display Tiki_Goddess on the side of a building here at the UMiami Miller School of Medicine, or in Brickell Village, Downtown Miami - or ideally, in the Miami Art Deco district. We also welcome larger donations ($600K would be nice, $2M would be even better) for a fluorescence nanoscope. We would of course be happy to nano-scan the nanoscope donor's favorite Tiki_Goddess body part for posterity.

Publication Date
Winter March 6, 2012
Tiki_Goddess is both art and data. As art, she is Copyright (c) 2012 by George McNamara. As data, she is not copyrightable (data are facts, facts are not copyrightable, at least in the USA). So, you arwe free to use Tiki_Goddess as data.
Citation Information
George McNamara. "Tiki_Goddess Olympus NanoZoomer" (2012)
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