A Science Driven Life

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What is the current technical limitation in your scientific field?

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Lavoisier conducting an experiment related combustion generated by amplified sun light.As a neuroscientist working for a technology company I spend a lot of time seeing new applications. These can range from new imaging probes, to new optogenetics tools or transgenic animals, all the way to new camera sensor technologies or super resolution algorithms. I spend a lot of time in labs seeing some really cool research, long before it’s published or presented at a conference. This is an aspect of my job I really love- getting to see where the fields of advanced imaging, electrophysiology, optophysiology, optogenetics, and neuroscience are headed.

The researchers we work with are constantly pushing the barriers of the latest and greatest in technology to better address increasingly complex questions in biology (side note: we also work with astronomers, physical science and chemistry, but I’m heavily focused on biological applications).

My question to my research friends and readers is simply this: what is the current technical limitation(s) in your field and if you could have one single new tool (either a new technology, new probe, new animal model, behavioral test, etc) what would you want?

I’m hoping to get a range of responses to open this up for a bigger question in how can we (academia and industry) work together to form open partnerships that are focused on advancing science. A lot of research money is wasted on overpriced, outdated, and often times the wrong technology for the research question at hand (I blame the sales rep as well as the researcher who doesn’t spend the time to educate her/himself) and an open discussion on how to save researchers time and (all of us taxpayers) money is long overdue.

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Written by Michael Mohammadi

April 5, 2014 at 08:42