The Center for Nano Optics, which focuses on developing tools and instruments as small as 1,000 times thinner than a human hair, is contributing to major breakthroughs in technology and bio-medicine. Faculty at the center are expanding the university’s nanotechnology focus and continuing the development of two university inventions – the spaser and the nanoplasmonic metal funnel. The spaser is a laser that is 1,000 times smaller than the smallest laser and also 1,000 times thinner than a human hair. Success in incorporating spaser technology into transistors, something that cannot be done now, may lead to computer processors that operate 100 to 1,000 times faster than today’s processors. The spasers may also help biomedical researchers identify and track single cancer cells in the bloodstream. A recent study found that a minimally invasive screening using emerging infrared technology for ulcerative colitis, a debilitating gastrointestinal tract disorder, could be a rapid and cost-effective method for detecting disease that eliminates the need for biopsies and intrusive testing of the human body.