Lasers Able to Zap Viruses

Find the right frequency, and they shatter like a wine glass
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2008 2:05 PM CST

(Newser) – Laser pulses tuned to the right frequency can be used to zap viruses, researchers have found, the way a soprano can shatter a wine glass, LiveScience reports. Scientists have developed computer models to determine a virus's lowest resonant frequency, and then destroy it with a laser pulse. "Like pushing a child on a swing from rest, one impulsive push gets the virus shaking," one says.

There are, however, some barriers to using the method as a treatment., including the fact that the lasers can't penetrate deeply into skin. One solution would be a dialysis-like system that passes blood through a machine where it could be zapped; ultrasound machines might also be used. One advantage is that viruses seem less likely to develop resistance to such methods than they have to drugs used to fight them.