kahrytan writes "Mounir Laroussi, a researcher at Old Dominion University has invented a hand-held device that is dubbed a plasma pencil. The pencil generates a "cold plasma," which can be used to kill germs that contaminate surfaces, infect wounds and rot your teeth. In the future, it might be used to destroy tumors without damaging surrounding tissue. When he turns the pencil on, it blows a high pitched whistle as a glowing, blue-violet beam about 2 inches long instantly appears at one end. Stick your finger in its path and you only feel a cool breeze, but the beam is powerful enough to blast apart bacteria that's crawling on your skin. Such a device if patented, tested and mass produced could end up doing a lot of good. Disinfecting surgery tools, keeping open wounds open in hospitals, destroying tumors in hard to operate areas like brains, and even treating that simple paper cut. The story can be read at dailypress and old dominion university."