Lasers (acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) were invented roughly half a century ago, and in that time, they have found their way to industry, medicine, all kinds of research, consumer electronics, and much more. Pervading modern day western society, several media can be used to generate lasers. But up until now, all these media were inanimate. Not any longer. Research published online on June 12th, 2011 in Nature Photonics (Gather and Yun, 2011) used a living cell to generate a laser (see figure 1).
Figure 1: Illustration of a single-celled laser. (Source: Gather and Yun, 2011)