This article is more than 1 year old

This is TRUE science: Harvard boffins fire up sizzling BACON LASER

Pork experiment elicits baffled awe from fellow scientists

A team of Harvard scientists has paved the way for a deadly laser pig weapon by demonstrating that, with a little encouragement, pig fat cells can be made to lase.

According to MIT Technology Review, Seok Hyun Yun and Matjaž Humar stimulated spheres of fat inside porcine cells with an optical fibre, causing them to emit laser light.

Handily, pig cells contain "nearly perfectly spherical" fat balls, which are conducive to lasing by resonance when supplied with a suitable light source. The team has also cheated the effect by injecting oil droplets into other cells.

Seok Hyun Yun, lead author of the report which appears in Nature Photonics, reckons an ultimate use of his work might be to deploy "intracellular microlasers as research tools, sensors, or perhaps as part of a drug treatment".

Russ Algar of the University of British Columbia classified the ground-breaking research as of little practical use, but admitted it was "very cool".

Since the bacon laser technique also involves the use of injecting fluorescent dye into the fat cells, the Harvard team could surely have saved themselves some work by using a glow-in-the-dark pig as a test subject. Better still, they could knock up a transgenic shark with fluorescent pig fat cells in its skin, and turn that into one almighty frikkin' laser. ®

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like