Screw health kits and healing food, I’m going to shoot you with my healing laser gun.

We gamers are no strangers to odd methods of healing. Max Payne gets riddled with bullets, chugs down a bottle of pills and he’s good to go. Eating chicken you found by breaking open a trash can will make you instantly healthy again, instead of giving you food poisoning. And how exactly does wiggling my fingers heal the tank from getting slashed by a dragon twenty times his size?

But what if we could heal people … by shooting them with a laser gun? It’s not Star Trek, it’s the United States Air Force – and it’s technology that actually works.

As one would expect, the Pentagon has good reason to fund medical research for the sake of keeping soldiers alive in war zones – not to mention the civilian benefits. One of the latest advances in technology, reports Wired, involves a combination of nanotechnology and a special laser beam.

Here’s how it works: Instead of closing a cut with now-archaic-seeming needle and thread, a patient’s wound is soaked in a special dye and then exposed to green light. The light absorbs and reacts with the dye in such a way that it “catalyzes molecular bonds between the tissue’s collagen,” creating a watertight seal that prevents inflammation, infection, and speeds up the rate at which the body forms scar tissue.

It isn’t completely instant, but it can be healed up in 2-3 minutes (depending on the size of the wound, presumably) – which is pretty damn rapid when minutes matter in saving a life.

The nanotech project, called Photochemical Tissue Bonding (PTB) has been funded by the Pentagon for the past 8 years, and has already been used successfully in lab experiments and 31 clinical trials. “It’s so simple, but such an improvement on current processes, and that’s what’s really remarkable,” researcher Irene Kochevar told Wired.

“We’re so close to these processes being used,” she elaborated. “But FDA approval is still a real hurdle.”

I hope they hurry up. I want a healing laser gun of my own!

(Wired: Danger Room)


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