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Concentrated sunlight could be used as an alternative to expensive laser surgery in poor countries, according to new research.

Scientists working in Israel's Negev desert are using a curved, plate-sized dish to focus sunlight to a point, concentrating it up to 15,000 fold. A mirror directs the light into a fibre-optic cable, which could carry the beam from a hospital roof to the operating theatre.

As well as reducing the costs of some forms of surgery, the technology could also offer a cut-price way to harness solar power, by concentrating sunlight onto small solar panels.

Link to Nature Science Update story

Photo credit: NASA

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