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GWU Professor's Laser Technology Recognized

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

WAMU 88.5

Your Turn: Sexual Assault, Nate Parker And More

Director Nate Parker's college rape case is resurfacing and putting off would-be fans of his highly anticipated film "The Birth of a Nation." What do Washingtonians think?

NPR

Minnesota Cracks Down On Neonic Pesticides, Promising Aid To Bees

Minnesota's governor has ordered new restrictions on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, which have been blamed for killing bees. Many details of the plan, however, remain to be worked out.
WAMU 88.5

Donald Trump’s Immigration Plan And His Visit To Mexico

Donald Trump lays out a plan for immigration after a meeting with Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto. An update on the Republican presidential nominee’s proposals on immigration, illegal drugs and trade.

WAMU 88.5

Results From Congressional Primary Races And New Concerns About Hacks Into State Voting Systems

Join us to discuss results from primary challenges to Republican Senator John McCain, Democratic Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz and others and new concerns possible Russian hackers breaking into U.S. state voting systems.

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