Posts Tagged ‘lasers’

MIT creates tractor beam

May 20th, 2009 1 comment

Part four in what is turning into my five part Star Trek inspired blogs relates to some super high tech stuff at MIT. Again not so much “for consumer use” but the science nerd in me wants to share this with the world at large. It’s like that old PSA “The More You Know”, right?
Anyway, some smarty pants professor and graduate student at MIT have figured out a way to use a “tractor beam” of light to pick up, hold and move around individual cells and other objects on the surface of a microchip.
Yes, that’s right. I said tractor beam!
Here’s an image of 16 E.coli cells on a microchip that the tractor beam manipulated into spelling MIT:
Tractor beam e.coli

They are calling this technology Optical Tweezers (which I think is a totally cute name, btw). They can be used to push around and control tiny objects (we’re talking nano to micrometer sizes)
Mostly this technology benefits engineering and biology research. Don’t expect to see new science kits on the shelves of your local Target or Toys R Us that include optical tweezer technology (come to think of it, I haven’t seen any science kits on any shelves in a real long time… what’s up with that? Do kids not think science is cool anymore? But I digress…)

Just think, if they can use this to make microchips even smaller then the iPhone will be even more awesome!

via MIT Develops ‘Tractor Beam’

Spa Treatments Without the Spa

February 28th, 2009 No comments

tanda-light-therapy-systemIn the market for more serious skin care, but not able to make it to a spa? There are quite a few tools available for those seeking more intensive at-home treatments for their skin. More and more gadgets are coming on the market that use electricity, LED light, and even lasers to treat conditions like acne, wrinkles and dark spots. Tanda Skin Care (above) is available in the U.S. through doctors or retailers like Their Clear Acne Treatment Kit, which includes a special cleanser and anti-blemish gel, is $250, while the Regenerate Anti-Aging Starter Kit sells for $275.

nono-hair-removal-deviceIf it’s hair removal you’re looking for, there’s the $250 no!no! hair removal system (left). And if you’re really serious about getting rid of unwanted hair, a company called Tria will deliver “a hair-free existence” for $795. It’s not exactly cheap, but compared to similar spa treatments that cost thousands of dollars, it is something of a bargain.