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The internal combustion engine for automotive use is highly engineered and run by advanced electro-mechanical systems that have been refined over a century of development. That fact hasn't stood in the way of breathless reports about laser spark plugs being the next big thing. Fast Company goes as far as to disparage the gasoline engine as antiquated and filthy while calling exotic and expensive laser ignitors "the gas engine's last gasp before the electric revolution comes."

Looks like Dr. Evil was ahead of his time. We may not have sharks with "frickin' laser beams" yet, but a team of Colorado State University researchers have applied for a patent for laser spark plugs.