A Vision Quest in the Chemistry Lab
This talk will review our lab’s work over the past decade in two areas of vision-related research. The first part of the talk will discuss the development and success of early detection systems for eye disorders in small children and infants. Here, a group of chemists affected by pediatric eye disease teamed up with computer scientists to create a free smartphone app that can search a parent’s baby pictures for signs of dozens of different eye disorders. Downloaded on every content by hundreds of thousands of people, this free app has been used by parents and clinicians to successfully detect retinoblastoma, Coats’ disease, pediatric cataract, refractive errors, and myelin retinal nerve fiber layer. The second part of the talk will discuss more recent work to develop new tactile tools to help blind persons visualize high resolution 2D imagery and data in chemistry, and the whole of science. These new tactile tools harness the lithophane effect. They enable universal visualization and data sharing between sighted and blind scientists.
Bryan F. Shaw
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Baylor University in Waco, Texas