How do we see the unseeable? How are scientists shining a light on cancer? How can laser beams be used as tweezers and scissors?

Light is all around us and it is being used in incredible ways in medicine and biology. Light can be used to image microscopic objects such as cells, bacteria and small organisms. In healthcare, light can be used to treat a number of medical conditions, such as certain types of cancer. Light is also a useful research tool. Laser beams can be used to trap and move tiny objects and to punch holes in them.

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PI: Seeing Life through a New Light, Manchester Museum of Science and Industry, 15th July 2017

Over 900 visitors at the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester on Saturday 15th July enjoyed activities including the “Orange juice challenge”, making pin-hole cameras, performing pepper-oscopies, and learning about light, microscopes, displays, and optical trapping at our Seeing Life through a New Light event.

The event was part of the Museum’s monthly Platform for Investigation, inviting scientists to present cutting-edge research to visitors of all ages on a purpose-built, high-tech platform. Answering this call were students and staff from the Universities of St Andrews and York, in the groups of Profs Kishan Dholakia, Malte Gather, and Thomas Krauss.

This event was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

PhD student Adrià Escobet Montalbán explains how light-sheets are revolutionising biomedical imaging.

PhD student Roopam Gupta demonstrates how light can trap and manipulate microscopic objects.

Left to right: Andrew Morton, Jan Murawski, Isabel Barth (York), Giampaolo Pitruzzello (York), Graham Bruce, Soheil Mojiri, Kishan Dholakia, Mingzhou Chen, Jonathan Nylk, Adrià Montalbán, Roopam Gupta.