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Biotech Shark

Biological Lasers 90

MancunianMaskMan writes "Sharks in the seas all around the world are interested in this story, though the less scientifically-minded will read the summary on the beeb web site about laser light produced by a living cell. The technique starts by engineering a cell that can produce a light-emitting protein that was first obtained from glowing jellyfish."
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Biological Lasers

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  • Jumped the shark (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 13, 2011 @09:26AM (#36424404)

    The laser/shark meme is really boring and pathetic. Can't people move on?

  • by justsayin ( 2246634 ) on Monday June 13, 2011 @10:17AM (#36424776)
    Just google "Single-cell biological lasers" and you get some free sources for the article. Looks like they "shined" blue light on a cell which was positioned between 2 mirrors. So out of the 3 parts needed for a laser, 2 of them were not biological. I say good news that they grew cells capable of lasing the light but the article headline really jumps to conclusions and dramatizes it a bit, what am I saying? Nature.com [nature.com] had the article.
  • Interesting... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday June 13, 2011 @10:23AM (#36424820) Journal
    From what I can gather of TFA, the cell isn't really a laser per se, as much as it is a cell that, genetically engineered to express GFP, can survive and be observed while be used as part of the lasing medium in a GFP-based organic dye laser(which is stimulated by blue light from outside the tube in which the cell(s) and the GFP dye fluid are placed).

    That is pretty cool, and I suspect that there will be some very elegant live-cell imaging that comes out of applications of this technique; but it leaves me wondering how small a complete biological laser could be: ie. something that both expresses the proteins needed to make up the lasing medium and uses some flavor of bioluminescence to pump its own lasing medium...

Take an astronaut to launch.