Salk Institute
Waitt Advanced Biophotonics Center



Biophotonics: The power of light

Imagine tagging along with a single protein molecule inside of a living cell as it goes about its job: relaying growth signals into the cell’s nucleus, repairing damaged DNA, or switching on insulin production after a meal. For the first time in history, the evolving technology of biophotonics, which uses single “quantum” units of light, holds the key to unlocking that world.

Now, thanks to brighter light emitting dyes, faster and more sensitive detectors, automation technology and computing capacity that can handle storing vast amounts of image data, it is possible for scientists to probe the molecular mechanisms of life at unprecedented resolutions. The convergence of technological advances puts the formerly unthinkable within the grasp of scientific inquiry, offering unparalleled opportunities to understand the physiology of human disease and to find new ways to treat it.

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