Spring 2006 Table of Contents
Celebrating Our Community
American Museum of Natural History to Exhibit
Dr. Timothy Bromage's "Lucy"

Above: Dr. Timothy Bromage

Above: A microscopic view of bone tissue taken from the "Lucy" skeleton

The American Museum of Natural History in New York will install a 45-foot-high enlarged reproduction of Dr. Timothy G. Bromage's one-half-millimeter micrograph of the famed "Lucy" skeleton's femur bone. Dr. Bromage, an Adjunct Professor of Biomaterials and Biomimetics and of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology, used the world's only portable confocal microscope, which he built himself, to analyze and photograph bone fibers below the surface of the 3.2 million-year-old partial skeleton (conventional microscopes can only illuminate such details after they have been ground into very thin sections).

Discovered in Ethiopia in 1974, "Lucy" is perhaps the best known specimen of Australopithecus afarensis, an early member of the genus Homo. Dr. Bromage is analyzing bone evolution by comparing "Lucy" with other early human species.

The installation is part of the Hall of Human Origins and will reopen on November 17th.

Added Recognition for Dr. Bromage

As if being exhibited at the American Museum of Natural History wasn't enough, Dr. Bromage's "Lucy" micrograph was also recently named the winner of an imaging contest sponsored by the Foundation for Advances in Medicine and Science. The prize is the cover of the journal, Scanning.