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Shortly before Alexander Graham Bell’s death in 1922, the Scottish American scientist and inventor said the telephone was not what he regarded as his greatest achievement. Rather, that distinction went to a now little-known device called the photophone1. In 1880, Bell and Charles Sumner Tainter used light to wirelessly transmit a voice message across a distance of 700 ft — roughly 100 years before the deployment of the world’s first cellular phone network.
Vladimir Zharov of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences invented the Cytophone, which couples photoacoustics with flow cytometry to detect and kill skin cancer cells circulating in the bloodstream. Courtesy of Vladimir Zharov.
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