A new high speed pulsing laser developed by Arizona State physics professor Kong-Thon Tsen and his son Shaw-Wei Tsen, a pathology student at Johns Hopkins, has succeeded in killing a common virus without damaging the healthy surrounding cells. The laser utilizes the principle of "forced resonance" by vibrating the shell of a virus to "crack" it. Plus, tests have proven that it is possible to break down the shells at energies far lower than those needed to damage surrounding T-cells.
Since these ultrashort-pulse lasers or USPs don't generate a lot of heat, they are far gentler than conventional lasers, which may open up the possibility of using them to eradicate viruses in stored blood. The duo is currently testing the laser on HIV and hepatitis, which could be truly groundbreaking if successful. Will this physics professor and his biologist son restore my faith in medical science? Only time will tell. [Wired]