Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Femtosecond Lasers May Save Us From Superbugs

On November 1st, the Institute of Physics published an article describing the use of specialized femtosecond laser pulses to destroy viruses and bacteria while leaving human cells unscathed. Using a process called Impulsive Stimulated Raman Scattering (ISRS), lethal vibrations are produced in the protein coat of microbes similar to an opera singer shattering a glass with her voice. Supposedly by modulating wavelengths and frequency, human cells are not damaged by the laser. If this research comes to fruition and can be developed further, we may have our next wave of high-tech "antibiotic" treatment. Since we're currently manufacturing "superbugs" through overuse of antibiotics, we're going to have more and more difficulty finding chemical cures for these wee beasties and this type of therapy just might save our skins. This is truly a groundbreaking news and could revolutionize the way we treat infections - imagine getting a 30 minute laser treatment for pneumonia instead of being admitted to the hospital on 10 days of antibiotics!
Via Engadget


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