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Slicing cells and time

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5 comments to Slicing cells and time

  • MindBlown

    Hi Rogues, I’m new to the forum and looking forward to participating. Fascinating story on the laser. As someone who knows a young girl with a particularly difficult brain tumor, I couldn’t help but wonder how feasible this technology could be for attacking brain tumors, where such precision could be invaluable for preserving life with all the brain’s functionality intact. I suppose if there were a way to stain or otherwise identify the cancerous cells, view them in this 3D microscope and pick them off one by one with the laser, a doctor could emerge from the surgery much more confident that she or he had gotten ALL of the tumor, and perhaps resulting in less reliance on the problematic use of chemotherapy and/or radiation that is often used instead of or in addition to surgerical removal of a tumor. I hope for those now or soon to be afflicted with the disease, that day could come very very soon.

  • Traveler

    I’ve always wondered how they measure these pulses. Sure your laser is fast, but how do you go about finding out that it’s N attoseconds?

  • Jim Shaver

    That’s way cool, Bob. It’s hard enough to envision a machine that can create a coherent pulse of light that is just over a hundredth of a millimeter long (50 femtoseconds). But then, the 80-attosecond laser pulse you mentioned would be only 24 nanometers long! That’s smaller than the shortest wavelength of visible light, which makes me wonder, can these pulses of light be shorter than one wavelength? If not, the 80-attosecond laser would have to be at least ultraviolet. Then again, a single photon is smaller than one wavelength at any frequency, and we know single-photon “light beams” exist.

    Sorry, it’s just hard to wrap my brain around these things. Hold on, let me think about it for a few more yoctoseconds, then I’ll get back to you.

  • petrucio

    Cool stuff.

    “The benefit is how non-invasive this.”

    Sorry, but this sentence made absolutely no sense.

  • Sorry, the word gremlins must have deleted the “is” at the end of that sentence.

    “The benefit is how non-invasive this is.”

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