Scientists at Rice University have found a way to identify and explode individual cancer cells by using lasers to make ‘nanobubbles.’ 

Physicists Jason Hafner and Dmitri Lapotko created the nanobubbles by putting gold nanoparticles into cancer cells then zapping them with short laser bursts. Varying laser power tunes the bubbles to perform different tasks ranging from diagnostics to destruction.

“The bubbles work like a jackhammer,” Lapotko said. The nanotech approach proved successful on leukemia cells and cells from head and neck cancers in experiments at Rice University.