?Yes. A Star Trek phaser — as in a beam of light that can be fired at someone, stunning them. Admittedly, it’s still in it’s rough stages, but it exists. And when I say rough, I mean “only works on certain worms.” From the Telegraph:
Scientists have developed a Star Trek-like phaser, capable of causing
paralysis with a beam of light.
A phaser traditionally emits a beam capable of stunning or killing an enemy. However, anyone hoping that the machine will become a powerful new weapon
could be disappointed, scientists have only proven the effect on worms.
Researchers have now found a way to paralyse tiny worms when they expose them
to ultraviolet light. Even when the ultraviolet light was turned off the animals stayed stunned. However, if they were subsequently exposed to a different form of light they
recovered again and were able to move.
The researchers claim that this is the first time that such an effect has been
demonstrated in an animal. Although some of the worms died, most of them lived through the process. The effect is caused by using a molecule which changes its shape when exposed
to ultraviolet light.
The scientists, from Simon Fraser University in Canada, fed the molecule to
the worms and then tested what happened when they exposed them to the light. The team behind the study claim that the phaser could someday be used as a
treatment for medical conditions, but admit that they are as yet unsure what
they would be.
The findings are published in Journal of the American Chemical Society.
So! If earth ever gets invaded by those exact kinds of worms, we have got it made! Somebody start up Starfleet, because we have got it made!