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Making lasers from kidney cells

A biological cell has been genetically engineered to produce the first, visible “living laser”. A single human embryonic kidney cell was altered to produce green fluorescent protein – a compound that makes critters such as jellyfish bioluminescent.

By placing the modified kidney cell between two mirrors (which were 20 millionths of a metre apart) , the cell’s luminescence was amplified, creating a so-called “living laser”.

The development could have applications for researchers, including the ability to turn cells into lasers to better study their properties and chemical make-up.

Read more at Wired Science