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Scientists set lasers on cells, end up playing Pong

Donald Melanson, @donmelanson
September 17, 2009
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Researchers have devised plenty of innovative ways of viewing living cells, but their options are a bit more limited when it comes to actually manipulating cells without, you know, destroying them. Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles have now come up with one promising new possibility, however, using lasers instead of the fixed electrodes more commonly used today. Those, as you might expect, don't hit the cells directly, but are rather used to shine light on a "high-tech Petri dish," which has a grid of light detectors built into its floor and sets of transparent electrodes on the top and bottom. When lit up in a pattern of a circle or square, the cells can then be isolated and moved about at will or, conceivably, even be used for a game of Pong. Check out the video after the break to see for yourself.


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