Mitochondria produce energy in all human cells. Strong mitochondrial mutations cause problems in energy production, resulting in diseases of the muscle, heart, and nervous system. Mutations in mitochondria are also frequently found in multiple cancer types. It is unknown whether these mutatins promote cancer or are only an effect of a cancerous environment. Chen and Stafford show that the cancer mutation pattern in some mitochondrial proteins is more consistent with selection rather than a strictly random pattern.
High power lasers are increasingly being used as tools to precisely modify materials on length scales as small as one ten-thousandths of an inch. However, our understanding of how ultrashort laser pulses modify materials is handicapped by out-of-date models of laser-induced damage that assume the laser light is monochromatic (i.e. a single color). This proposed project is the first stage of a larger collaborative effort to establish updated models oflaser-induced damage that are compatible with current short-pulsed laser technology.