Washington: When a beating heart slips into an irregular, life-threatening rhythm, delivering a burst of electric current from a pacemaker or defibrillator is the treatment most commonly known.But because the electricity itself can cause pain, tissue damage and other serious side-effects, a Johns Hopkins-led research team wants to replace these jolts with a kinder, gentler remedy: light.Five biomedical engineers from Johns Hopkins and Stony Brook universities described their plan to use biological lab data and an intricate computer model to devise a better way to heal ailing hearts.Other scientists are already using light-sensitive cells to control certain activities in the brain.The Johns Hopkins-Stony Brook researchers said that they plan to give this technique a cardiac twist so that doctors in the near future will be able to use low-energy light to solve serious heart problems such as arrhythmia .
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