Friday, September 7, 2012

Optics report makes 2 key recommendations for life sci

What do you think of the two key recommendations for the health and medicine sector made by the Harnessing Light Committee of the U.S. National Academies of Science's National Research Council?  Released on August 13, 2012 the report (called Optics & Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nation) aims to help American policy makers and leaders advance the national economy and provide "visionary guidance and support" for future development of optics and photonics--which have fundamentally changed the life sciences among many other areas.

The report devotes one of its ten chapters (chapter 6) to the discussion of biomedicine, although discussion of life sciences appears in other sections. You can download the entire publication or individual chapters here; look for the blue and gray "download free pdf" link.

Here are the recommendations in a nutshell:
1. The U.S. optics and photonics industry should create instruments to allow simultaneous measurement of all immune-system cell types in a blood sample.
2. The industry should focus on ways to increase the rate at which new pharmaceuticals can be safely developed and proved effective.

Next week, on September 12, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and former Intel CEO/Chairman Craig Barrett will headline an invitation-only briefing for lawmakers, and a reception with federal agency staff, to discuss the report. Thomas Baer of Stanford University, a powerful advocate for biomedical optics and one of the Harnessing Light Committee members, will participate. Meantime, we at BioOptics World would like to know, what do you think of the recommendations?