(PhysOrg.com) -- A group of Chinese and Australian scientists have developed a handheld, battery-powered plasma-producing device that can rid skin of bacteria in an instant. The device could be used in ambulance emergency calls, natural disaster sites, military combat operations and many other instances where treatment is required in remote locations. The plasma flashlight, presented today, 5 April, in IOP Publishing's Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics is driven by a 12 V battery and doesn't require any external generator or wall power; it also doesn't require any external gas feed or handling system. In the experiment, the plasma flashlight effectively inactivated a thick biofilm of one of the most antibiotic- and heat-resistant bacteria, Enterococcus faecalis – a bacterium which often infects the root canals during dental treatments. Read more here.