20 January 2011

MEMS in space, prostate cancer testing, origins of life: light goes exploring at Photonics West

Conference chairs have offered more suggestions on presentations to hear at SPIE Photonics West next week. The technologies and applications in the latest recommendations differ in many ways, but all share one important commonality: they all demonstrate how versatile and powerful photonics is when it comes to gathering information about matter, in environments as disparate as inside the human body and in space.

Scientists and engineers from top space organizations in Europe, Canada, and the United States will share the stage in a Tuesday evening panel discussion on MEMS for space applications. They’ll explore the advantages, challenges, and possibilities -- with reference no doubt to a joint session earlier in the day among three MOEMS-MEMS conferences with papers on possible space applications in telescopes, gyros, spectrometers, and other devices.

Among papers on research in spectroscopy are a presentation in the conference on Optical Biopsy exploring Stokes shift spectroscopy for discriminating between normal and diseased prostate tissues (7985-17), and another proposing a new model for the chemical evolution of life (7985-33) on Earth in which a composite hybrid of heterotrophs and autotrophs, rather than heterotrohps, formed functional cells in the chemical soup.

Just a few more days -- sessions start Saturday morning. Hope to see you at Moscone!


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