Sharks with frikkin’ laser beams on their foreheads have, until now, seemed a remote possibility*.

Cell producing focused green light.  Credit: M Gather

Cell producing focused green light. Credit: M Gather

But in a stunning development, scientists have engineered living cells which are able to _emit laser beams_.

Take a moment.  Sit back.  Allow your mind to explode a little.

In essence, living cells have been engineered to produce Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) – a jellyfish protein which fluoresces -and, when bathed in weak blue light and helped along with mirrors, emit an intense, focused beam of green laser light.

Possible applications include medical diagnostics and imaging of cells, as well as possible therapeutic uses, although those are likely further off…

The BBC has a more in depth article here, as does the New York Times and, heh, PC magazine :)

Mad props to @SetHop for pointing this out…


* As has the possibility of having laser-beam eyes, a la Cyclops **

** Please note: I am being tongue in cheek