The Enterprise uses a modified tractor beam to collect vertion particles from the MacPherson Nebula

Vertions are subatomic particles which are naturally created in white dwarf stars.

In 2370, the USS Enterprise-D, which had developed an intelligence, utilized a modified tractor beam to extract vertion particles from the white dwarf star Tambor Beta-6 in order to fuel the creation of a new lifeform. Unfortunately, the Enterprise exhausted the supply of vertions in the star, and the lifeform's energy emissions began to decrease. The Enterprise subsequently set course for the Cordannas system, the location of another white dwarf. As it would have taken the Enterprise twelve hours to reach the Cordannas system, and the ship was losing life support, the Enterprise crew was forced to re-route the ship to the MacPherson Nebula, where they detonated a modified photon torpedo inside in an effort to produce vertions. The plan worked, and the new lifeform was able to absorb enough energy to end its dependence on the particles and depart the ship. (TNG: "Emergence")

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