Worm Breeder's Gazette 9(2): 110
These abstracts should not be cited in bibliographies. Material contained herein should be treated as personal communication and should be cited as such only with the consent of the author.
We have recently bought a nitrogen-pumped dye laser made by LSI ( Laser Science, Inc) for killing cells in worms. This laser costs $4, 000 and is very small: 12.5 X 4.5 X 2 inches. Like the PRA ( Photochemical Research Associates) nitrogen-pumped dye lasers recently bought by the MRC and Boulder worm labs, it is mechanically simpler than the flash lamp pumped dye lasers used in the past (Sulston and White, Dev. Biol. 78: 577-597, 1980; Sternberg and Horvitz, Dev. Biol. 88: 147-166, 1981) and therefore easier to use. Also, like the PRA laser, it has a short pulse time and high repetition rate, allowing very precise surgery. However, it is much smaller than PRA lasers, and therefore easier to mount and align. Most components of our system are commercially available; however, we had to build a triggering circuit ourselves. The LSI laser has made possible extensive and delicate operations (for example, see the article by Avery and Horvitz in this issue) and, more importantly, has made laser ablation a generally accessible technique in our lab. We have not yet had any problems with it in about two months of use. However, we have not tried to use it to make holes in eggshells. We hope the ease of use and low cost of this laser will make laser ablation a more widely available technique.