Oil Droplets turn Cells into Tiny Lasers

in science on (#10FMD)
Scientists have turned individual cells into miniature lasers by injecting them with droplets of oil or fat mixed with a fluorescent dye that can be activated by short pulses of light. This finding could help to broaden how light is used for both medical diagnosis and treatment. The system was devised by Harvard Medical School scientiest, and it uses droplets of fat or oil within a cell to reflect and amplify light, generating a laser. Conventional luminescent probes, which include fluorescent dyes and proteins, have relatively broad emission spectra. This limits the number of probes that can be used simultaneously, because it is often difficult to distinguish these sources of luminescence from the broad background emissions of naturally occurring molecules in tissue.


Laser-equipped droids (and shiny soldier stink bugs) (Score: 1)

by jdagius@pipedot.org on 2016-01-14 11:29 (#10N29)

Very interesting. The article suggests to me that it would be possible, some day, to engineer living, flesh-driven laser beams. Just have to figure out how to generate that initial flash of light to start the amplification process. So, maybe we can start this research with lightning bugs, and create some soldier bugs that can shoot laser beams out of their butt.

At least that's what I thought of when I read the second sentence in paragraph five, which begins "The eggs of the spined soldier stink bug vary in colour depending on how much light is reflecting from the surface"

Then I realized that this and the remaining lines of TFA were part of a misplaced article on stink bugs that can manipulate the colors of their eggs.
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In the number 3168975, what is the 2nd digit?