Infrared laser shown to quicken heart rate, gives hope for ultra-small pacemakers

Here's an interesting one. Just years after a researcher in Japan realized that lasers could stimulate nerves, a professor of biomedical engineering at Vanderbilt University along with cohorts from Case Western Reserve have found that the same is true with the heart. By using an Infrared laser on an early embryonic heart, tests were able to show that the muscle was "in lockstep with the laser pulse rate." The crew also found no signs of laser damage after a few hours of experimenting, though obviously more extensive research would be required before any medical agency allowed such a device to be beamed underneath a human chest. The hope here is that this discovery could one day lead to ultra-small, implantable pacemakers, or better still, to "pace an adult heart during surgery." There's nary a mention of when this stuff will actually be ready for FDA oversight, but there's a downright creepy video of it all in the source link. Consider yourself warned.