Viral Frequencies: not new but nice to see scientists waking up!
A three-dimensional model of an HIV virus. Researchers are exploring the use of lasers and sound waves to attack viruses. Credit: 3DScience.com
New Way to Kill Viruses: Shake Them to Death
By Michael Schirber, Special to LiveScience
posted: 05 February 2008 09:27 am ET
Scientists may one day be able to destroy viruses in the same way that opera singers presumably shatter wine glasses. New research mathematically determined the frequencies at which simple viruses could be shaken to death.
“The capsid of a virus is something like the shell of a turtle,” said physicist Otto Sankey of Arizona State University. “If the shell can be compromised [by mechanical vibrations], the virus can be inactivated.”
Recent experimental evidence has shown that laser pulses tuned to the right frequency can kill certain viruses. However, locating these so-called resonant frequencies is a bit of trial and error.
“Experiments must just try a wide variety of conditions and hope that conditions are found that can lead to success,” Sankey told LiveScience.
To expedite this search, Sankey and his student Eric Dykeman have developed a way to calculate the vibrational motion of every atom in a virus shell. From this, they can determine the lowest resonant frequencies.
As an example of their technique, the team modeled the satellite tobacco necrosis virus and found this small virus resonates strongly around 60 Gigahertz (where one Gigahertz is a billion cycles per second), as reported in the Jan. 14 issue of Physical Review Letters.
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