bells and whistles

I interviewed Joseph Schmitt of St Jude Medical about the reasons biophotonics start-ups can now get off the ground more easily than ever; and why doing so without a decent business plan is still likely to be the kiss of death.

Also: A pair of novel technologies coming out of ICFO in Barcelona. One puts nano-scale and micro-scale structures onto glass to give both anti-glare and anti-reflection behaviour, a trick that’s piqued the interest of Corning. The other detects blood flow by decoding the speckle pattern you get when laser light hits the skin; operationally straightforward, but mathematically fiendish.

Plus: An optical technique analogous to a CT scan can detect the signs of very early-stage cancers in individual cells by spotting the anomalous DNA content; but ask different people how the field of pathology is going to adopt and adapt to these kinds of 3D techniques and you’ll get different answers.