Mention of some science stories I had a hand in recently:
Adaptive optics has plenty of potential uses, one of them being to accurately image the retina of a patient without the errors and inaccuracies that creep in when you use a scanning microscope. Attempts to use AO systems for this over the years have led to platforms so bulky they only really work on patients lying down and keeping very still, but Duke University has come up with a handheld portable system that could be used more comfortably on adults and restless children.
Also: using some form of structured or patterned light instead of straightforward illumination has a lot to offer in several bioimaging techniques, especially when it comes to measuring oxygenation and hemoglobin levels in tissues. A California company called Modulated Imaging has just had FDA approval for a device using spatial frequency domain imaging, which is really a way to try and cut out the effects of scattering and absorption, two things that biological tissues are often annoyingly good at.
And: improvements in virtual reality don’t only involve getting higher quality display screens to sit closer to the eyeball, but that is a big part of it. A German project has developed an OLED microdisplay that measures one inch across, with a pixel density of 2300 pixels per inch. Put a pair of them in front of each eye in a suitable helmet, and the wearer is looking at authentic WUXGA widescreen. Configure them correctly and that wearer might not get a headache.