MadSci Network: Medicine

Re: Can the AIDS virus be killed by Microwaves of same wavelength as dia of it?

Area: Medicine
Posted By: Rolf Marteijn, Grad Student, dept of Foodscience -> Bioprocesengineering and dept. of Virology, Wageningen Agricultural University
Date: Thu Jul 10 13:27:40 1997
Area of science: Medicine
ID: 867967690.Me

Hi Muriel,

This question has been seen on several usenet news groups before, being posted by someone who -in my humble opinion- posted the weirdest questions and sollutions.

Anyhow, the question is not that hard to answer. In many labs that work with virusses in general and HIV (the AIDS virus), the workspaces that may have been contaminated with virus are cleaned using UV light. This light destroys the RNA (genetic material) of the virus and therefore renders it unharmfull.

I'm not into physics enough to tell which frequency is the most effective in this process though. However, there probably is a frequency which is most effective. This frequency will not destroy the protein shell around the RNA, but only the RNA. The proteins itself are not really dangerous.

Now for the application of this knowledge, the fun part. As you might know, UV light causes cancer of the skin in humans, so it's not the way to treat HIV-positive patients. Moreover, much of the HIV virus hides inside human cells and would survive. Using UV light to clean the blood supply might be possible, but there is a good chance that the good parts in the blood supply (platelets, red blood cells, etc.) are also destroyed.

Anyway, there is a way to clean parts of the bloodsupply, but it can't be used for all blood products and it is very expensive. How it is done exactly I don't know, but it is a kind of heat treatment.

Hope this answers your question, a little short answer cause it's holiday,


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