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Scientists engineer a human "kidney cell" to generate a visible laser beam ... incredible !!

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posted on Jan, 25 2012 @ 11:21 PM
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Now how cool is this !!!
Not in my wildest dreams would I have even imagined that any biological cell, let alone a human cell, could be induced to generate a laser pulse.




‘Living Laser’ Engineered From Human Cells !

Medical researchers from Harvard University have created the first “living laser”; a biological cell that’s been genetically engineered to produce a visible laser beam.

The team genetically engineered human embryonic kidney cells to produce GFP. They then placed a single cell between two mirrors. In terms of size, the mirrors were spaced 20 micrometers apart (20 millionths of a meter), and the cell was just 15 to 20 micrometers.

When the team ran pulses of blue light through the kidney-jellyfish combo, a visible laser beam shot out. It only lasted for a few nanoseconds, but the light could be easily detected and carried useful information on the properties of the cell.

Source


I would have thought forcing a human cell to lase would certainly have destroyed it but apparently not so, as the cell remained unharmed !




posted on Jan, 25 2012 @ 11:39 PM
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It's amazing how we can create so many different kinds of weapons technologies, but just can't seem to find a way to get fresh water and food to the starving nations of the world.

Where are the banana and apple guns? That's killing 2 birds with 1 stone, the psychotic gun nuts will have a blast firing away at starving people, and those people would in turn get an abundance of various foods.



posted on Jan, 25 2012 @ 11:41 PM
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Oh my, what if they did this to skin cells. The new designer skin. Be a hit at parties, never loose your way in the dark, watch the cat chase you across the yard, and best of all, the NEW Laser tag , and you are the gun!

Oh boy,.... scarey.



posted on Jan, 25 2012 @ 11:43 PM
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reply to post by amatrine
 


hahaha "Designer Skin"... good one

edit on 25-1-2012 by sonik because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 12:08 AM
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Yeah, but this was no ORDINARY cell. I was engineered from an human embryonic kidney cell and some kind of jelly fish.

Still very interesting. I wonder what else can be gained from this experiment, besides the communication of the cell's data, and to what end? Very cool stuff.

edit on 26-1-2012 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 01:25 AM
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Whoever wrote this article for Wired Magazine was obviously lacking in knowledge of the subject being covered. The article is suggesting that these cells are shooting out lasers when in fact they are simply emitting light via fluorescence This is no big deal and is in fact commonplace in microbiology.

Let me break it down for you. They inserted the gene for 'GFP' aka 'Green Fluorescent Protein' into the cells. So now the cells incorporate a fluorescent protein somewhere in their cell structure. The scientists then stimulated the cells, or more accurately, stimulated the fluorescent proteins in the cells with "blue light". Again, saying "blue light" points to the fact that the article author was clueless. The "blue light" was an ultraviolet lamp. Ultraviolet light is necessary for the production of fluorescence. (Just google fluorescence and read about how it works.)

The "big deal" is that the scientists were able to focus this light into a "laser beam" with microscale mirrors. The rounded shape of the cells made the focusing more efficient. The mirrors and focusing are the big accomplishment here, not the light coming from the cells. In fact, getting cells to light up under UV is an everyday occurence in many thousands of labs around the world.

So, practical applications?
-Living environmental sensors using optical circuits for communication? Yep. These sensors could potentially detect/feel anything that a human cell can. (or a bacterial cell, or a plant cell...) Pretty cool because ultrafine sensitivity when probing for environmental contaminants may be achieved. Also, robots may be given a "real" sense of touch, taste, and smell!
-Making cells into living lasers? Sorry, but no way. The mircomirrors are absolutely necessary. The focusing of the light is what makes the "laser".
-Signaling aliens using plankton? Again, no. These cells produce visible light, but the light is very weak. It would take a whole ocean of these things to produce light of similar intensity to that of the Aurora. You might be able to see it from the Moon, on the night-side of the Earth, but no further.


So yeah, unless you want to sit under a UV lamp and have your retinas burned out while developing skin cancer, then you aren't going to have glow-in-the-dark-laser-skin. And the idea of "laser beams inside a patient’s body...to lase hazardous or cancerous tissue"? That won't work unless you have a good way to get micromirrors inserted right next to the cancer cells. Even then the strength of the "laser" will only be enough to piss off the cancer, not to kill it.


Watch out for "science" articles like this. There are far too many people who have the title "science writer" with no obvious qualifications to be called such.



edit on 26-1-2012 by ShockTruther because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 02:04 AM
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Originally posted by ShockTruther
-Signaling aliens using plankton? Again, no. These cells produce visible light, but the light is very weak. It would take a whole ocean of these things to produce light of similar intensity to that of the Aurora.


Actually, I had a moonless midnight sea voyage once, lights off in a small boat under very clear conditions. We saw the ocean waves and the wake of the boat glowing fluorescent green due to the billions of these creatures giving off light when disturbed by waves.

Then up above we were treated to the spectacle of the Milky Way's center. I thought I died and gone to heaven that night for I've never seen anything so beautiful and amazing!



posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 02:15 AM
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Originally posted by ShockTruther
Whoever wrote this article for Wired Magazine was obviously lacking in knowledge of the subject being covered. The article is suggesting that these cells are shooting out lasers when in fact they are simply emitting light via fluorescence This is no big deal and is in fact commonplace in microbiology.

What the heck are you talking about ?
This is NOT simple light emission caused by fluorescence. Fluorescence is essentially randomly generated light that is emitted in all directions.

In this experiment, they created a resonating optical cavity between 2 end mirrors which is the basis of most lasers.

Heres an extract from a similar experiment published in Scientific American describing the process ... and yes, confirmed as laser output and NOT simple fluorescence.



In a study published online June 12 in Nature Photonics, Gather and Yun report engineering the first living laser by placing an eGFP-bearing cell inside a reflective optical cavity and hitting it with pulses of blue light. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.) With low-energy pulses, the cell glows only by ordinary fluorescence. But at a certain threshold its optical output changes suddenly. The light becomes almost completely uniform in color (a pure green of about 516 nanometers in wavelength), increases in brightness and becomes directed rather than diffuse.

Source


XL5

posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 06:12 AM
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Tauristercus, what Shock is saying is that, the cell is not a laser on its own, it needs to be stimulated by an outside light source and needs mirrors. They just made living cells into a dye laser that will fluoresce when pumped with UV. Without the mirrors, the cell like a short lived glow in the dark paint.

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 06:48 AM
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reply to post by JibbyJedi
 


I think you'll find you're the only person bringing weapons into it, I'm not even sure how this could be weaponised in any way.
Perhaps you have the problem?



posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 07:25 AM
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I think u guys over exaggerating it, its not a laser coming out, its a small glow of light, it cant be called laser because its not projected. I worked with GFP (Green Fluorescent Protein) in lab before, and have successfully integrated in E.coli cells(basic GFP production experiment by replacing/removing a non-fatal protein codon with a GFP protein codon), and made the new/next generation glow under UV light.

I think this is over exaggerated, but interesting because they used a somatic cells instead of a bacteria.



posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 07:27 AM
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Originally posted by amatrine
Oh my, what if they did this to skin cells. The new designer skin. Be a hit at parties, never loose your way in the dark, watch the cat chase you across the yard, and best of all, the NEW Laser tag , and you are the gun!

Oh boy,.... scarey.



They have done it with Rabbits, that glow in the dark.



posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 07:53 AM
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Originally posted by luciddream
I think u guys over exaggerating it, its not a laser coming out, its a small glow of light, it cant be called laser because its not projected.
Well it's projected, but not with laser-like properties so I agree it's an exaggeration to call it a laser. Let's compare and contrast laser properties to this thing they call a laser that isn't a laser:

LASER

The emitted laser light is notable for its high degree of spatial and temporal coherence, unattainable using other technologies.

Spatial coherence typically is expressed through the output being a narrow beam which is diffraction-limited, often a so-called "pencil beam." Laser beams can be focused to very tiny spots, achieving a very high irradiance.
Note the "spatial coherence", and ""focused into tiny spots", which are characteristics of lasers obviously not present in the description in the OP article:


Inside an optical resonator, the cell can generate green laser light (the irregular structure of the cell, however, makes the laser spot have a random pattern).
This "random pattern" is not very laser-like. It's lacking in spatial coherence and isn't focused into a tiny spot like lasers are.

I think we all need to read science articles with a critical eye to find out what is really going on. I'm glad to see at least some people are doing this, so congratulations to you.

For those who believe the headlines...they are unreliable so you really can't believe them, until you read the article very carefully. I find in many cases the description in the story actually proves the headline is false or at least not completely true, and I'd say that's more or less the case here as others have pointed out.

I'd also say the potential applications they cite sound pretty far fetched.

Now if you read the actual scientific papers published by the scientists, those tend to be somewhat more reliable than the articles written by the non-scientist science writers.



posted on Jan, 27 2012 @ 02:08 PM
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Originally posted by luciddream

I think this is over exaggerated, but interesting because they used a somatic cells instead of a bacteria.



THIS.

I agree. Integrating GFP into human somatic cells and then integrating these cells into "living" optical sensors and/or circuits has a huge potential.

As I stated before: The potential for robots with "real" sense of touch, smell, or taste! Nerve cells in combination with taste bud cells may be able to create a sensor with optical output. The optical data is analyzed by a microprocessor and interpreted as a given taste! Amazing!

Of course, this is a few more steps ahead of where the research is presently. But, oh the possibilities down the road.



posted on Jan, 27 2012 @ 02:58 PM
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Originally posted by ahnggk

Originally posted by ShockTruther
-Signaling aliens using plankton? Again, no. These cells produce visible light, but the light is very weak. It would take a whole ocean of these things to produce light of similar intensity to that of the Aurora.


Actually, I had a moonless midnight sea voyage once, lights off in a small boat under very clear conditions. We saw the ocean waves and the wake of the boat glowing fluorescent green due to the billions of these creatures giving off light when disturbed by waves.

Then up above we were treated to the spectacle of the Milky Way's center. I thought I died and gone to heaven that night for I've never seen anything so beautiful and amazing!



Bioluminescent dinoflagellates!

I've seen video, but never experienced it in reality. I'm jealous. Did you know that you can order them online and grow them in a fish tank! Imagine water balloons filled with these!


For anyone who hasn't seen this, check them out!

edit on 27-1-2012 by ShockTruther because: (no reason given)



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