You might expect the barrage of brilliant lab-on-a-cell-phone inventions that come out of the Ozcan Nano/Bio Photonics Lab at the University of California Los Angeles to eventually dwindle, or perhaps only leave us moderately impressed after a while, but that's not the case. Less than three weeks into 2013, the Ozcan Research Group published on their development of a new optical microscopy platform which uses liquid nanolenses that self-assemble around tiny objects (in the sub–100-nanometer range), allowing it to detect viruses and nanoparticles. That paper was published online in the journal Nature Photonics and was the subject of a recent UCLA research news release. Also this month, the Royal Society of Chemistry published the paper Cost-effective and Rapid Blood Analysis on a Cell-phone. And the international society for optics and photonics, SPIE, announced a new annual award for 2013: the Biophotonics Technology Innovator Award. One guess who its first recipient is? Not a shabby way to start the new year at all.
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When a catastrophic natural disaster strikes, first responders often make the difference between life and death for potential victims. Training, preparedness and valor play a part in successful rescue efforts, but so do good tools. Sometimes that tool is as basic as an axe or a flashlight, or a life vest or life raft. The recent mega-storm in the NE has us thinking about the kinds of tools that science research is coming up with to address emergency and crisis situations, both during and in the aftermath of a major event. To that end, we're taking a look back today at some of our earlier blogs on life science research invention to see what kinds of scientific solutions are on the horizon (or already here) to aid in disaster relief and recovery efforts.
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The ubiquity of cell phone technology in today's world, even in developing nations, has opened a door for biomedical researchers to invent diagnostic devices that utilize the cell phone platform to perform analyses that otherwise would require prohibitively expensive equipment. And that is just what the 32-year-old bioengineering prodigy Aydogan Ozcan is doing at UCLA's Biophotonics Lab (also known as the Ozcan Research Group Nano / Bio Photonics Lab, and contributor of the photo at right) in the Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.