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  • Good Ideas, New Uses

BioPhotonics
Aug 2014
Karen A. Newman, Group Publisher, karen.newman@photonics.com

You just never know where the next good idea or powerful connection will come from. I came across this quote from Dr. Eric Betzig of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Farm Research Campus while reviewing the pages that make up this issue of BioPhotonics: “We combined the descan concept from the ophthalmologists with the laser guide stars of the astronomers, and came up with what amounts to a really good solution for aberrating but nonscattering transparent samples, like the zebra fish.”

What inspires you? What are the forces that lead you to new discoveries and new levels of achievement? Do you actively seek inspiration? If so, there is a good chance that something in this issue of BioPhotonics will get you thinking.

In our cover story, “Light-Sheet Microscopy Advances Biological Study,” Dr. Orla Hanrahan of Andor Technology writes about employing microscopy to study zebra fish, as well as other creatures. Fluorescence microscopy techniques now offer more powerful resolution, speed and penetration, but generally are limited to the study of thin, transparent samples, Hanrahan writes.

Enter light-sheet microscopy, which, Hanrahan explains, has gained attention as a faster, less phototoxic method than other fluorescence microscopy techniques, making it ideal for studying living organisms and the biological processes that take place within them. Read the article beginning on page 20.

Also in this issue, Dr. Eric V. Chandler and David E. Fish of Pixelteq Inc. and Dr. Laura Waller of the University of California, Berkeley, write about a new option for observing features in minimally scattering media in “Multispectral Quantitative Phase Imaging Captures Live Human Cells Quickly,” starting on page 24.

Matthias Schulze and Wallace Latimer of Coherent Inc. share results of their research showing that, for life sciences instrumentation, lasers offer superior performance and lower total cost compared with LEDs. The feature, “Streamlined Lasers Enable Lower-Cost Instruments than LEDs,” begins on page 28.

Finally, science writer Valerie C. Coffey looks into the progress being made in lasers for medical treatments. “Much current cutting-edge research is focused on biophysical and physiological studies at the molecular and cellular level, and on lasers’ effects on whole organisms,” Coffey explains in her feature, “The Promise of Advanced Laser-Based Therapy,” starting on page 32.

I hope you enjoy the issue. Perhaps something in these pages will lead to new ideas from a place you never thought to look.

And look for BioPhotonics at the Microscopy Society of America’s Microscopy and Microanalysis 2014, taking place Aug. 3-7 in Hartford, Conn. Light-sheet microscopy is on the conference agenda, and you will find Photonics Media in booth 1224.


GLOSSARY
fluorescence microscopy
Observation of samples using excitation produced fluorescence. A sample is placed within the excitation laser and the plane of observation is scanned. Emitted photons from the sample are filtered by a long pass dichroic optic and are detected and recorded for digital image reproduction. 
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