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Showing posts from April, 2011

Healing the brain with light: optogenetics

Repairing brain disorders such as epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, and chronic pain, by targeted application of light: research by the Synthetic Neurobiology Group led by Ed Boyden at Massachusetts Institute of Technology has the potential to change many lives through photonics.

Boyden described his work in a new video interview for the SPIE Newsroom. Read more here:

Boyden's article on 'Controlling the brain with light,' SPIE Newsroom

'Seeing the light,' MIT News

'Selective brain stimulation with light,' SPIE Newsroom

Photonics as you'll see it nowhere else

“Multidisciplinary” is a word heard often in photonics circles. It has become increasingly apt atSPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing (DSS), where, in the words of Michael Eismann (Air Force Research Lab), last year’s symposium chair, you’ll see things that you won’t find anywhere else. Just a few examples -- from among 2,400 papers in the program -- illustrate the span across not only several disciplines but varied application areas as well.

Cancer and brain trauma

From the growing body of presentations at DSS on biomedicine and sensing technologies with health applications is a paper by Krzysztof Ptak (U.S. National Cancer Institute Center for Strategic Scientific Initiatives) on nanotechnology as a “new pipeline” for cancer diagnostics, imaging agents, and therapies (8031-63).

“The National Cancer Institute has taken the bold and visionary step of recognizing that it takes a multidisciplinary approach allowing for a convergence of molecular biology, oncology, physics, chemistry, and en…

Telling a compelling story about photonics

Next week several hundred scientists will leave the comfort and familiarity of their labs and lecture halls to attempt a very difficult task: convince politicians of the priority of funding science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, research and innovation.
This event is happening in Washington, D.C., via the Science-Engineering-Technology Working Group’s 16th annual Congressional Visits Day, but the challenge -- the opportunity, really -- is one faced by the science community around the world. SPIE members will be among the volunteers participating.

EU Green Paper

The European Commission has invited comments from stakeholders on a Green Paper which aims to launch a public debate on the future of EU research and innovation funding. Photonics industry and research professionals are among those from other disciplines offering their perspectives.
While competing for governmental support may pit science against other needs and interests, photonics -- as an enabling t…