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Olympus Earns Prestigious 2012 Edison Award: Winning Microscope System Allows Imaging Deeper into Tissue Than Ever Before

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., May 18, 2012 — Olympus America Inc. has been named winner of a prestigious Gold Edison Award. The internationally known Edison Awards™, celebrating 25 years of honoring the best in innovation and excellence in the development of new products and services, announced the award at a special ceremony on April 26 in New York City. Olympus SCALEVIEW microscope optics, part of a game-changing system that allows biologists to see deeper into tissue than ever before possible, won in the Science/Medical category.

Until now, researchers needed to slice thin sections of fixed brain and other tissue to make observations through significant depth. Every cut was damaging to the specimen, and the tissue's opaque quality itself scattered light, making it difficult to view and visualize the millions of neural filament connections. In creating the optics for the new system, Olympus worked closely with Dr. Atsushi Miyawaki of Japan's RIKEN Brain Science Institute, which developed a low-cost reagent that literally turns tissue transparent (Hiroshi Hama et al., Nature Neuroscience 14, 1481-1488 (2011)). The industry-institutional partnership led to two microscope objectives optimized for use with the breakthrough reagent. A much deeper look into the brain and other organ tissues is more possible than ever before – with imaging depth up to 8 mm. Using the SCALEVIEW system helps biologists map the brain’s connections more easily and better understand its functioning; the system offers research applications throughout the life sciences as well, including developmental biology and stem cell biology.

“At Olympus we take pride in our optical excellence and in working closely with researchers to achieve their goals, and are honored to receive this recognition from the Edison Awards,” said Brendan Brinkman, senior product manager of Olympus America's Scientific Equipment Group. “Whether SCALEVIEW helps them to clearly visualize brain architecture, or clarifies structures in developmental organogenesis, stem cell biology or other applications, we look forward to the success of researchers using this new technology. Ultimately it is their work that benefits humanity and we are proud to be a part of that vision in any way.” “It's important to recognize excellence in innovation and greatness in the teams of innovators who make our future. We are honored to present Olympus America with an Edison Award as one of the leading innovators of today and tomorrow,” said Thomas Stat, 2012 Edison Awards Steering Committee Chairman.

The ballot of nominees for the Edison Awards was judged by a panel of more than 3,000 leading business executives including past award winners, members of the Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), academics and leaders in the fields of product development, design, engineering, science and medicine. The awards were named after Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) whose extraordinary new product development methods and innovative achievements garnered him 1,093 U.S. patents and made him a household name around the world.

For more information about the Olympus SCALEVIEW microscope objectives, contact Brendan Brinkman, Olympus America Inc. at brendan.brinkman@olympus.com or visit www.olympusamerica.com/scaleview.

About the Edison Awards
The Edison Awards represent the spirit of innovation personified by Thomas Edison, inspiring America's drive to remain in the forefront of creativity and ingenuity in the global economy.  Sponsors of the 2012 Edison Awards include:  Nielsen, USA TODAY, Discovery Communications, SCIENCE, CSRware, applepeak and ViridiSTOR. For more information about the Edison Awards and a full list of winners, visit www.edisonawards.com.

About Olympus America Inc., Scientific Equipment Group
Olympus America Scientific Equipment Group provides innovative microscope imaging solutions for researchers, doctors, clinicians and educators. Olympus microscope systems offer unsurpassed optics, superior construction and system versatility to meet the ever-changing needs of microscopists, paving the way for future advances in life science.

About Olympus
Olympus is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering innovative solutions in its core business areas: Medical and Surgical Products, Life Science Imaging Systems, Industrial Measurement and Imaging Instruments and Cameras and Audio Products. Olympus works collaboratively with its customers and affiliates worldwide to leverage R&D investment in precision technology and manufacturing processes across diverse business lines. These include:

  • Gastrointestinal endoscopes, accessories, and minimally invasive surgical products;
  • Advanced research, clinical and educational microscopes and research and educational digital imaging systems;
  • Industrial research, engineering, test, inspection and measuring instruments; and
  • Digital cameras and voice recorders.

Olympus serves the healthcare field with integrated product solutions and financial, educational and consulting services that help customers to efficiently, reliably and more easily achieve exceptional results. Olympus develops breakthrough technologies with revolutionary product design and functionality for the consumer and professional photography markets, and also is the leader in gastrointestinal endoscopy and clinical and educational microscopes.  For more information, visit www.olympusamerica.com.

RIKEN is Japan's flagship research institute devoted to basic and applied research. Over 2500 papers by RIKEN researchers are published every year in reputable scientific and technical journals, covering topics ranging across a broad spectrum of disciplines including physics, chemistry, biology, medical science and engineering. RIKEN's advanced research environment and strong emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration has earned itself an unparalleled reputation for scientific excellence in Japan and around the world.
For more information, visit http://www.riken.go.jp/engn/.

About the RIKEN Brain Science Institute
The RIKEN Brain Science Institute (BSI) was established in October, 1997 to answer a growing need in society for cutting-edge brain science research. Since its establishment, BSI has attracted promising scientists domestically and internationally and brought together diverse research and human resources, and today enjoys an international reputation as an innovative center for brain science.
Research at BSI integrates a wide range of disciplines including medicine, biology, physics, technology, information science, mathematical science, and psychology. BSI's research objectives cover individual organisms, behavior, microscopic molecular structures of the brain, neurons, neurocircuits, cognition, memory, learning, language acquisition, and robotics.
For more information, visit http://www.brain.riken.jp/en/

Edison Awards is a trademark or registered trademark of the Edison Awards and/or AF Networks LLC.