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It lives and lases

Coherent light from a cell

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4:05pm, June 12, 2011

The first living laser is nothing to be afraid of. It’s just a single cell pulsing with light that may lead to new ways of probing microscopic realms.

And maybe — just maybe — laser bunnies.

The secret to the cell’s splendor is called green fluorescent protein, or GFP, researchers report online June 12 in Nature Photonics.

First discovered in jellyfish, this glowing protein has long helped biologists illuminate cells and their inner workings. When struck by blue light, its electrons essentially jump up and down and fluoresce with green light.

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