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Healing wounds with lasers, vehicles that drive themselves, other cutting-edge optics
Date:5/26/2009

up and move in the same direction.

The technique could be useful for cancer assays, which test the motility of cells, or as a non-invasive, non-toxic boost for regenerative medicine. Though cells have complicated and intriguing mechanisms to sense and communicate where an injury occurs, the possibility of using photonic scaffolds to stimulate and guide cells' motility to accelerate tissue repair, is now quite promising.

Presentation CMMM2; Monday, June 1, 4 4:15 p.m.

VEHICLES THAT DRIVE THEMSELVES

The thought of a car or truck that can drive itself is at once both exciting and frightening. Autonomous vehicle navigation, as the technology is known, may make life more convenient if it allows people to kick back and enjoy a good book or movie while their cars guide themselves through rush-hour traffic. But what happens if it starts to rain or if traffic suddenly picks up? If the technology is to work at all, it will have to be completely safe on all roads, under all speeds, and in all weather. Therein lies the challenge: if cars and trucks are to drive autonomously, they will need futuristic sensors and advanced computing capabilities to respond to ever-changing road conditions.

Perhaps the most extreme example of ever-changing conditions is a war zone, where roads may be reduced to rubble and vehicles are natural targets of attack. Rolling out fleets of self-navigating vehicles for the military is an enticing idea because it could keep thousands of troops out of harm's way. But will it be possible for these vehicles to operate in war zones? This question was the inspiration for a recent Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) contest aimed at spurring the development of such technologies.

Held at a former air force base in Victorville, Calif. in late 2007, the DARPA Urban Challenge offered a $3.5 million purse to competitors who could design the fastest and safest vehicles that could travers
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Contact: Colleen Morrison
cmorri@osa.org
202-416-1437
Optical Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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