JUNE 13 2011 23:25h
It's alive! Living laser created
When agitated, the material produced a bright, directional and narrow-band laser emission with characteristic longitudinal and transverse modes, said Seok-Hyun Yun, an optical physicist at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, who created the "living laser" with his colleague Malte Gather.
Their findings were published in the journal Nature Photonics.
"This is the first time that we have used biological materials to build a laser and generate light from something that is living," Yun told FoxNews.com.
The scientists said their study showed that fluorescent proteins in cells are a viable gain medium -- a material that amplifies light -- for optical amplification, and is the first successful demonstration of biological cell lasers based on green fluorescent protein. The study said the joined cells remained alive after prolonged lasering.
Yun and Gather said amplification and lasering from and within biological systems open up avenues to new forms of intracellular sensing, cytometry and imaging.
BOSTON, June 13 (UPI) -- In what sounds like science fiction, U.S. scientists report merging light-emitting proteins from jellyfish with a human cell creates a living laser.