Lasers for purifying blood and detecting cancer

Businessweek indicates that new short pulse lasers can also shatter the outer membranes of viruses, which suggests they can be used to purify donated blood. A father-son team of scientists–one a laser expert at the University of Arizona, and the other an immunology student at Johns Hopkins University–built one that emits pulses of light at a frequency that kills viruses without harming normal cells.

Another new laser device could let doctors peer through the skin and into the veins of patients’ wrists to spot cancer cells in the blood.