WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

GWU Professor's Laser Technology Recognized

Play associated audio
Laser Ablation Electro Spray Ionization can be used to analyze biological samples more gently than previous technologies.
Laser Ablation Electro Spray Ionization can be used to analyze biological samples more gently than previous technologies.

A professor at George Washington University has been recognized for developing a new technology that could be appearing in labs and hospitals around the world, called Laser Ablation Electro Spray Ionization (LAESI). The Scientist magazine recognized professor Akon Vertes' technological innovation as one of the top 10 of 2011.

LAESI is used as a way to find out what's inside a biological sample. A sample is vaporized with an infrared laser, and then a burst of charged particles shoots it into a machine that uses light to identify what's inside.

"It could be useful for all sorts of things - it's one of these things where your imagination is the limit of what you want to do," explains Steven Wiley, a scientist with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and a judge for The Scientist's top ten list. 

He says often when scientists try to use lasers to analyze things, they end up inadvertently destroying what they're looking for. But this method is gentler, and extremely specific. It's already being used to identify cancerous and virally infected cells.


Remembering Robert Swanson, Advertising's 'King Of Jingles'

Robert Swanson revolutionized American advertising and wrote some of the most memorable ad jingles of the 1950s and '60s for products ranging from Campbell's Soup to Pall Mall cigarettes. He died at 95 July 17 at his home in Phoenix, Ariz.

More Than Just Saying 'Cheese,' Hundreds Sit Test To Become Official Experts

The American Cheese Society will begin proctoring its next Certified Cheese Professional Exam in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday, during the group's annual conference. The rigorous test is only in its fifth year, but nearly 600 people have passed it already. Industry experts say the exam is necessary because of the evolving standards in the growing American cheese business.

Hillary Clinton Set To Become Formal Democratic Nominee For President

Bill Clinton speaks Tuesday night after his wife Hillary Clinton formally becomes the Democratic nominee for president. One open question is how smoothly the nominating process will go.

Solar-Powered Plane Completes Historic Circumnavigation

The Solar Impulse 2 landed in Abu Dhabi, where its journey began 17 flights ago in March 2015. Alternating with another pilot, Bertrand Piccard flew around the world with no fuel.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.