New Laser Probe Developed For Space Program Could Spot Cataracts Earlier

New Laser Probe Developed For Space Program Could Spot Cataracts Earlier 

 A beam of light from a slit-lamp microscope focused on a cataract.

Cataracts are the single biggest cause of blindness and are responsible for almost half of all cases worldwide. A new laser probe, originally developed for the U.S. space program, has been shown to detect the condition earlier than is otherwise possible. Its developers say that the technique can tell that a cataract is forming even when an eye looks perfectly clear.

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Nanoscale Imaging

Nanoscale Imaging 

Donut shaped blood cells

By using nanoptical scanning probe microscopes, scientists are able to reveal the going-ons inside humans and animals with stunning clarity. Take the above set of donut-shaped blood cells – which have been treated with an antibiotic called phyllomelittin taken from the skin of a monkey frog – now decidedly more appetizing than when in a normal, bloody-looking state. (I’m sure many of you relaxed back into your seat Homer Simpson-style with an “Mmm… Monkey frog donuts…”)

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NASA Plans to Send Probe to the Sun

 NASA Plans to Send Probe to the Sun
Getting bored with looking at other planets, NASA now plans to probe the sun

For more than 400 years, astronomers have studied the sun from afar. Now NASA has decided to go there. ‘We are going to visit a living, breathing star for the first time,’ says program scientist Lika Guhathakurta of NASA Headquarters. “This is an unexplored region of the solar system and the possibilities for discovery are off the charts.”

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