Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Blast that virus with a laser!

At the University of Arizona, physicists have come up with a novel way of destroying pathogens such as viruses and bacteria using a laser. Yes, a laser.

Revolutionary Laser Technique Destroys Viruses And Bacteria Without Damaging Human Cells

The technique (which I don't claim to understand) uses Impulsive Stimulated Raman Scattering (ISRS) and causes lethal vibrations in the pathogen protein coat resulting in inactivation while leaving the host cell undamaged. The physicists aren't sure why the human host cells are left unscathed by the femtosecond laser, but they speculate that it's probably due to differences in protein composition.

Pretty cool.


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