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Heartbeats at the Speed of Light

An optic fiber emitting infrared light from a diode laser has been placed just one millimeter away from the developing heart of a two-day old quail embryo. As the laser pulse changes its speed, the heart alters its beat to match. This system is the first time that the whole heart of a living animal has been paced with light–a method that could yield insight into the development of heart defects as well as, much further down the road, provide a new approach for building
August 14, 2010

An optic fiber emitting infrared light from a diode laser has been placed just one millimeter away from the developing heart of a two-day old quail embryo. As the laser pulse changes its speed, the heart alters its beat to match. This system is the first time that the whole heart of a living animal has been paced with light–a method that could yield insight into the development of heart defects as well as, much further down the road, provide a new approach for building

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Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

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