Cancer surgery is evolving quickly as researchers around the globe develop new techniques. The Lebanese University has created a robotic manipulator that precisely positions a laser used in photodynamic therapy. The laser activates drugs given to the patient, causing these photosensitizer drugs to activate and destroy cancerous growths. Researchers in Lebanon use National Instruments’ PCI-7334 to control the four stepper motors that move the laser head. Light must come from various angles to fully destroy the cancerous cells, so the head goes through many steps during the treatment.
A spacecraft on its way to Mars is carrying core structures made with carbon-fiber composites. Launched November 18, NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft is the first designed for exploring and understanding the red planet's upper atmosphere.