(U.S. Air National Guard/Staff Sgt. Christopher S. Muncy)

Just as everyone has unique fingerprints, everyone also has a unique heartbeat, and that concept is crucial to the US military's newest identification device.

The Department of Defense, at the request of U.S. special operations forces, used this principle to develop an infrared laser that can identify enemy combatants from a distance by reading their cardiac signature, the MIT Technology Review reported Thursday, citing Pentagon officials.

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