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Research Find Possible Cure For Malaria…. Microwaves

Research Find Possible Cure For Malaria…. Microwaves

Researchers plan to cure malaria with microwaves…

We’ve featured a few posts on mosquitoes and combating malaria – the world’s biggest killer responsible for almost 1 million deaths per year – but the new approach some researchers have devised to cure the disease has got to be the wackiest idea to date.

Instead of heading down the traditional route of using pharmaceutical drugs – the success of which has proven to be somewhat of a roller-coaster ride due to the malaria parasite being extremely resilient and possessing the ability to easily muted into a drug resistant strain – scientists now want to fry them to death with microwaves, quite literally.

microwaves promising cure for malaria 550x469 Research Find Possible Cure For Malaria…. Microwaves

Microwaves Could Be Instant Cure For Malaria

Image Credit: DR Relling, 2008.

Fortunately, stepping into the person-sized microwave that researchers have envisioned is not as fatal as it might sound, at least not for us humans.

The malaria parasite – the cause of the disease which is carried by and spread by biting mosquitoes – has a high content of iron thanks to the blood suckling it does to feed and survive. Researchers found that beaming low-level microwaves at the body heated up these iron-rich crystals to the point of destruction, and when these crystals explode, the toxicity released is fatal to the insect.

Because the parasite carries one extra iron atom, the microwaves selectively home in on the denser heavier target, destroying the parasite and not the tissues surrounding it.

The technique, developed by Carmenza Spadafora, a researcher at one of Panama’s top research institutes, and Jose Stoute of Pennsylvania State University, is certainly an out-of-the-box concept however it has quickly earned credibility amongst others also working to eradicate the disease.

The foremost figureheads in the battle against malaria, Bill and Melinda Gates, have already backed the new findings, announcing that they will be funding the next stage of the research using a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

After previous years of success in controlling the disease, drug resistant strains are now popping up in large numbers throughout Africa, Asia and South America, which means a new cure is desperately need now more than ever. Drugs can be expensive to manufacture, and those in need of these drugs typically do not have the money to pay for them, considering that drastically reduces possible profit margins, drugs may not be the answer, but human sized microwaves might just do the job.

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  1. Michael J. Coren: Exploding Malaria With Human-Sized Microwaves. Gizmodo, 08/12/2011.

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