Optical imaging of large distributed neural populations is a key goal in revealing the principles underlying brain activity, with recent advances in single and multi-photon light-sheet microscopy and related techniques playing a significant role. Read more

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Electron Optics

A team of scientists has coaxed electrons into displaying a behavior—negative refraction at a boundary—that’s previously been reserved for light passing through exotic metamaterials. The researchers believe that the finding could open up new prospects in so-called electron optics, in which components such as electronic switches are designed based on the principles of geometrical optics. [..]

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Researchers have developed a new laser that makes it possible to measure electron transition energies in small atoms and molecules with unprecedented precision. The instrument will help scientists test one of the bedrock theories of modern physics to new limits, and may help resolve an unexplained discrepancy in measurements of the size of the proton. [..]

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A portable microscope, developed as part of a scalable, point-of-care, label-free microarray platform, may offer more rapid detection of sepsis and other infections caused by bacteria, ultimately saving millions of lives each year. The device combines photonics technology, microfluidics and molecular biology to produce sample-to-result processing up to 50 times faster than current testing techniques.. [..]

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By combining expertise in photonics – manipulating light beams in nanoscale waveguides on a chip – and materials science, Cornell researchers have laid the groundwork for a chemical sensor on a chip that could be used in small portable devices to analyze samples in a lab, monitor air and water quality in the field and [..]

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A research team led by Sushil Kumar of Lehigh University, Penn, USA, has devised an “antenna feedback” scheme that reportedly can provide single-mode operation and strong, highly directional far-field coupling in surface plasmon polaritons (SPP) lasers, bringing them “closer to practical applications” Read more

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A team of researchers from Switzerland’s Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) has developed a short-pulse laser-based technique for carving 3-D tunnel-like microfluidic structures in cell-culture hydrogels. They say that that their technique has the potential to advance tissue engineering by creating biocompatible structures that can influence cell function and promote tissue formation. Read more

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