...scientists have just uncovered a new fundamental property of light that gives new insight into the 150-year-old classical theory of electromagnetism and which could lead to applications manipulating light at the nanoscale.
Scientists have embedded lasers into living fat cells
And they could individually tag and track every single cell in the human body.
Two physicists have demonstrated a way to embed lasers into living human tissue using oil droplets and polystyrene beads to create microscopic mirrors. These droplets - less than the width of a human hair - can be induced to shine over different wavelengths and create a laser lightshow inside the skin.
This isn't some kind of radical body art project though - it's hoped the new technique will be used to better study cellular activity to figure out how tissues and molecules work together. "Right now, the technology is ready for applications in laboratory settings - to study cells and later to study their uses in small animals," Yun explained to Motherboard. "For example, [we use] the lasers to understand how cells move and respond to external force."
Because lasers have very narrow emission linewidths - each laser colour is distinctly separate on the spectrum - it means scientists can more easily target specific sets of cells and work out how they are behaving and the pressures on them. Further down the line, we might see lasers made completely of biological materials, according to Yun, although he admits they're not there yet.
By using separate polystyrene beads with different diameters, the team from Harvard Univesity's Wellman Centre for Photomedicine in the US believes they might even able to 'tag' individual cells within the body, and monitor thousands of cells at once, which could be seriously significant for treating diseases such as cancer and understanding more about how the human body works. Short pulses of light are required to activate the lasers, though most of the hard work is done by the beads themselves.
The report has been published in Nature Photonics.
One of the researchers, Seok-Hyun Yun, has previous work in this area: he was part of the team that created living lasers in jellyfish back in 2011. That process required the use of two external mirrors to create a microlaser, but this research goes a step forward by embedding everything needed to create a laser effect within the living tissue.
Pig skin cells were used in these most recent experiments, so you won't be getting a laser injection from your local doctor anytime soon, but academics agree that the research shows plenty of promise - eventually the process could be adapted to track as many cells as there are in the human body.
I guess I'll have to make do with astro and macrophotography. I don't see myself getting a scanning electron microscope anytime soon.
Fri 20 Nov, 2015 04:31 pm
Eyes on the skies, guys...
It’s Finally Here! Comet Catalina Greets Dawn Skywatchers
by BOB KING on NOVEMBER 20, 2015
If you love watching comets and live north of the equator, you’ve been holding your breath a l-o-n-g time for C/2013 US10 Catalina to make its northern debut. I’m thrilled to report the wait is over. The comet just passed perihelion on Nov. 15th and has begun its climb into morning twilight.
I have an academic friend who's a mineralogist that has limited his entire career to the discovery and structural analyses of several "rare" minerals that only form at the exhaust mouths of burning coal mines.
Sometimes e dont do things in science to benefit humanity, e just **** off.