Supercomputers let us simulate everything from the weather, to a chess match against a master, to how the human body operates. But researchers at Japan's National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center have created a detailed 3D simulation of a beating human heart that can run on a laptop, allowing even small hospitals to perform research and complex diagnoses.

Using modern computer graphics technology that powers ultra-realistic games, the new approach to simulating the heart involves dividing the model into 7,000 parts and calculating how each section contracts independently. This allows the software to determine the overall shape of the entire beating heart with less processing power. And once an easy and affordable method is found for quickly modelling every patient's heart, the technology could eventually allow doctors to spot problems without having to operate on a patient first. Or plunking down a few million for Deep Blue's cousin. [DigInfo TV]