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April 24, 1987

Basic Research Paves the Way for Lasers Precise Enough to Slice Genes

JAMA. 1987;257(16):2131. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390160017004

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AS MORE and more medical specialties are incorporating laser techniques into their armamentarium, some of the leading advocates are standing back to survey where the laser field is going.

One indisputable fact is that the medical community's enthusiasm for laser medicine is growing. One reflection of its increasing acceptance is that membership in the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery has grown from about 100 to more than 1000 in about six years.

Geza J. Jako, MD, who was the society's president at the time of its sixth annual meeting last year in Boston, estimates that there are hundreds of thousands of laser treatments for eye conditions alone each year, and about 1 million medical laser procedures in total annually. However, as use of the laser grows, so does evaluation of that use, including balancing benefit and risk.

(This year's meeting of the American Society for Laser Medicine and