Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Infrared Laser Can Be Fine-Tuned To Selectively Target And destroy Lethal Microorganisms

Here's another physics research work that one can use whenever someone claims that the study of physics has no practical application.

Physicists at Arizona State University, Johns Hopkins, and the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute can now selectively zap microorganisms without harming the surrounding cells.

In their paper titled 'Selective inactivation of microorganisms by near-IR femtosecond laser pulses', physicists from Arizona State University detail how their new laser technique can destroy viruses and bacteria such as AIDS without damaging human cells. Also interesting to note is its potential to help reduce the spread of hospital infections such as MRSA — more commonly referred to in the media as the "superbug" or staph infection. MRSA is called the superbug because of its resilience and its ability to survive most treatment regimens including penicillin and methicillin.

The exact reference to this work is:

K T Tsen et al., J. Phys.: Condens. Matter v.19, p.472201 (2007).


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