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BioPhotonics is the global resource for research, business and product news and information for the biophotonics community and the industry's only stand-alone print and digital magazine. Stay current with a FREE subscription, and expand your knowledge of light and the life sciences through our extensive, industry-specific archives.

EDITORIAL COMMENT
Latest Issue
Apr 2016

Science Speeds Up, Nature Stays Slow

JAMES SCHLETT, EDITOR, james.schlett@photonics.com
James SchlettTo say we live in a fast-paced world no longer does the reality justice. Supercomputers can calculate hundreds of terabytes of data in a billionth of a second. Fortunes are made and lost with the click of a button. Yet, in many instances, nature has not received — or has disregarded — the memo to hurry up. Grass still grows slowly, and the life sciences have often struggled to detect and extract valuable data in a timely fashion from slow-growing bodies, such as plants and tumors.

However, as several articles in this month’s BioPhotonics illustrate, advances in technology are enabling researchers to identify such changes at early stages, and the payoffs can be a less hungry world or better treatments for cancer. In my cover story, “Drones with Multispectral Cameras Bring Efficiency to High-Throughput Plant Phenotyping,” (read article), we see how how researchers are using unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with multispectral or hyperspectral cameras to fly over fields of genetically engineered crops and identify plants with desired phenotypes, which are not always visible to the human eye or easy to assess from ground level. In “SERS Spectroscopy Solves Outstanding Problems in the Biological Sciences,” (read article), Fran Adar and Maruda Shanmugasundaram at Horiba Instruments Inc. detail how surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) shows promise for early stage cancer diagnosis.

Other feature articles in this month’s issue include:

• “Real-Time Volumetric 3D Imaging Technology,” by Krišs Osmanis and Ilmars Osmanis at LightSpace Technologies Inc. (read article).

• “Optical Tweezers Bring Major Discoveries Within Grasp,” by Vitaliy Oliynyk, Philipp Rauch and Stefan B. Kaemmer at JPK Instruments Inc. (read article).

• “First Clinical Applications on the Horizon for FLIM,” a print exclusive by contributing editor Marie Freebody (read article).

There are those who say, “The sooner, the better,” and others who say, “Slow and steady.” People in both camps should be impressed with the photonic technologies highlighted in this issue of BioPhotonics.
Karen Newman Group Publisher Karen Newman has had a career in business-to-business and association publishing, much of it spent covering technical, scientific and life sciences subjects.
Mike Wheeler Michael D. Wheeler is managing editor of Photonics Spectra and EuroPhotonics. In addition, he is responsible for the editorial direction of BioPhotonics and Industrial Photonics.
Justine Murphy Senior Editor Justine Murphy is a multiple award-winning journalist who brings more than 15 years of experience to her role at Photonics Media.
James Schlett James Schlett is the editor of BioPhotonics and Industrial Photonics. He is also an author and award-winning business reporter.
 
Hank Hogan Contributing editor Hank Hogan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the University of Texas at Austin. Hogan worked in the semiconductor industry and now writes about science and technology.
Marie Freebody Contributing editor Marie Freebody is a free-lance science and technology journalist with a master’s degree in physics and a concentration in nuclear astrophysics from the University of Surrey in England.
Valerie Coffey Science writer Valerie C. Coffey holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s in astronomy. She has covered optics, photonics, physics and astronomy for a variety of industry and academic publications since 2000.
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