Finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease has defied medical researchers for decades now, but a team of scientists just gave us new reason to hope. They’ve discovered a way to zap away the bad proteins that cause diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Creutzfeldt-Jakob (a.k.a. mad cow) disease—with lasers. It’s so simple, it’s incredible. The Polish-Swedish team of researchers developed a multi-photon laser technique that can distinguish between healthy proteins and toxic amyloids. Because the healthy proteins are “optically invisible” to the high-powered lasers—and, thus, less likely to be zapped—the scientists think those lasers can be used to detect and remove the bad proteins. It’s a completely new way of thinking about treatment. “Nobody has talked about using only light to treat these diseases until now,” said Piotr Hanczyc at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden.