Microscope image of a single-cell living laser in action - its irregular internal structure causes the apparently random pattern of laser light emission (Image: Nature Photonics/Malte Gather, Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital)
While laser beam-shooting plants or animals might seem like something straight out of Star Trek, two researchers from the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital recently wondered whether such organisms could theoretically exist. In order to satisfy their curiosity, Dr. Malte Gather and Dr. Seok Hyun Yun successfully created a laser that uses a living cell as its light source. The device, which utilizes a protein found in jellyfish, could have applications in the fields of biomedicine and optical computing.
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