The genome-editing system known as CRISPR allows scientists to delete or replace any target gene in a living cell. MIT researchers have now added an extra layer of control over when and where this gene editing occurs, by making the system responsive to light. Read more

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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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While advances in laser technology have driven the unprecedented development of optical coatings, the optical and mechanical properties of coatings must continue to evolve for successful deployment of next-generation high-power, ultrafast, and spaceborne laser systems. Read more

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Live 3-D imaging is one of the hottest topics in optics today, transforming medical imaging capabilities and delivering the immersive experience behind augmented and virtual reality. During The Optical Society’s Light the Future centennial program in Heidelberg, Germany on 26 July, Dr. Joseph Izatt of Duke University and Microsoft’s Bernard Kress gave an insider’s look [..]

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Researchers have developed a new enhanced DNA imaging technique that can probe the structure of individual DNA strands at the nanoscale. Since DNA is at the root of many disease processes, the technique could help scientists gain important insights into what goes wrong when DNA becomes damaged or when other cellular processes affect gene expression. [..]

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New research out of Australia promises to dramatically reduce the price of infrared technologies like night vision goggles.Scientists at the University of Sydney recently demonstrated a semiconductor capable of a nearly 99 percent light absorption rate. The semiconductor is just a few hundred atoms thick and could power a range of infrared devices. Read more

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One of the major goals in neuroscience is to image the structure of the brain at cellular resolution. However, achieving deep brain tissue imaging has posed a significant challenge because of technical limitations in accessing wavelengths beyond 950nm. Recently, the availability of new technologies, such as suitable near-infrared (NIR) detectors and femtosecond laser sources offer… [..]

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Security holograms have been part of credit cards for more than three decades, but scientists are always seeking to advance the technology. Now, using nanotechnology, researchers in OSA Fellow Federico Capasso’s laboratory at Harvard University (USA) have incorporated polarization into holography to boost its efficiency and security Read more

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In addition to pain, many migraine suffers experience light sensitivity that can greatly interfere with daily life. A team of researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Mass., USA, says migraine photophobia may originate in the retinal neural pathway, and that a narrow band of green light could help soothe the suffering of [..]

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A team of researchers from the Schepens Eye Research Institute of Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School (both in Boston, MA) has designed three new eyeglasses using high-power prisms to optimally expand the visual fields of patients with hemianopia, a condition in which the visual fields of both eyes are cut by half. [..]

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Standoff chemical detection is the ability to detect chemicals in an object that is some distance from the measurement instrument. This capability, along with chemical identification and quantification, is highly sought after in security and defense applications.. Read more

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Defense Optics

Laser-powered nanoblade technology typically used to transfer materials between cells has now been used to slice through a cell’s membrane to enable the insertion of mitochondria. Other bio-engineering applications of the nanoblade, which can deliver cargo as small as a few microns in size, are also being explored. Read more

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Researchers from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL; Teddington, Middlesex, England) and MedImmune (Gaithersburg, MD), the global biologics research and development arm of Astra Zeneca, are collaborating to investigate, with super-resolution microscopy, the use of exosomes for targeted delivery of therapeutics. Read more

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Researchers in the Salk Laboratory of Genetics at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences (La Jolla, CA) found that—using two-photon microscopy—new brain cells began with a period of overgrowth, sending out a plethora of neuronal branches before the brain pruned back the connections. Read more

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The ability to employ a single laser source in more than one microscopy modality has obvious theoretical advantages, but in practice is tricky to achieve effectively. Read more

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It is difficult to obtain stable images of spinal cord cells because, unlike cells in the brain, these cells are surrounded by things that move—an articulated spine, a beating heart, and expanding lungs. Researchers from The Salk Institute (USA) report they have overcome this challenge by using new fluorescence imaging approaches… Read more

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