Watch any TV medical drama and you’ll see a defibrillator in action. During tense moments, defibrillators bring patients back from the brink of death with a dramatic shock. But what you don’t see on TV is the cell membrane, muscle, and skin damage that a defibrillator’s shock can cause. Even implanted defibrillators are painful to patients and damaging to tissue. But gentler devices may be on the way. A research team led by Stefan Luther of the Max Planck Institute and Flavio Fenton of Cornell University has found a new approach that greatly reduces the intensity of defibrillating shocks.