Scientists in Australia have used internet links to successfully perform microsurgery on cells located thousands of miles away in a southern California laboratory.
The surgeons used a newly developed internet-based laser scissor-and-tweezers technology called RoboLase, demonstrating the potential of using the technology for real-time research activities between laboratories and to perform medical procedures from distant locations.
In a proof-of-concept series of experiments, the scientists from UC Irvine, UC San Diego and the University of Queensland employed RoboLase to produce surgical holes in a distinct pattern less than one micron in diameter (1/1000th of a millimetre) in single cells.
Using a control panel projected onto a computer screen, researchers in Queensland were able to remotely perform the cell surgery on a laser microscope system in the southern California laboratory.
A screen-grab of the operation can be seen here .
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