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New Technology May Help Treat Hepatitis

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While pharmaceutical companies are racing to find safer, more effective treatments for viral Hepatitis C and B, physicists from Arizona have a unique perspective on accomplishing the same goal. Learn how these scientists believe the virus could be rendered harmless with this non-traditional, non-invasive procedure.

As one of the leading causes of liver disease, both the Hepatitis B and C viruses remain difficult to eliminate. Although medical technology has produced some potent medicines to battle these liver-invading viruses, they are ineffective for a significant percentage of those infected. However, scientists from Arizona have stepped into an entirely new field of medicine that proposes a completely different approach to dismantling a virus. By mathematically determining the frequency by which viruses can be shaken to death, physics may trump the biological sciences in the quest to safely eliminate viral pathogens.

Although this innovative technology’s potential for fighting Hepatitis B or C is currently in a conceptual stage, the logic behind it is intriguing and hopeful. All objects have resonant frequencies at which they naturally vibrate; however, too much vibration can destroy an object. A good example of this phenomenon is the destruction of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, which warped and finally collapsed in 1940 due to a wind that rocked the bridge back and forth at one of its resonant frequencies. Similar to how opera singers can hit notes that shatter glass, recent experimental evidence has shown that laser pulses tuned to the right frequency can kill certain viruses.

An idea that runs parallel to the marvel of resonant frequency is a breakthrough explained by Bruce Lipton in his book, The Biology of Belief. In this archetype, Lipton believes that the key to life does not lie within a person’s DNA – but, rather, within the mechanisms of the cell membrane. In contrast to conventional medical science, proponents of Lipton’s work advocate that the cell’s membrane operates in response to its environment and controls how the genes inside the cell are interpreted.

In Lipton’s biological model, the cell dies when the membrane is destroyed, just as a person would die if their brain were removed. Applying this theory to the work of physicist Otto Sankey of Arizona State University, using resonant frequencies that stress the outer shell of the virus to its breaking point would theoretically kill the virus residing inside. According to Sankey, “The capsid of a virus is something like the shell of a turtle. If the shell can be compromised [by mechanical vibrations], the virus can be inactivated.”

Consisting of small units of protein, the capsid is the outer shell of a virus. The three primary purposes of a capsid include:

  1. protecting the virus’s genetic material
  2. detecting cells suitable for infection
  3. initiating infection by “opening” the target cell to inject DNA into the cytoplasm

As a result of Sankey’s initial discovery, researchers are hard at work developing methods to calculate the vibrational motion of every atom of a capsid. Armed with knowing the vibrational motion of a capsid’s atoms, the lowest resonant frequencies can be determined. Even though determining any particular capsid’s lowest resonant frequency may be within arms reach, this technology is still a long way from being used to neutralize viruses in infected people.

One of the biggest challenges of using lasers to break open a capsid is that a laser’s light cannot penetrate the skin very deeply. However, Sankey suggests that there may be ways to circumvent this limitation such as:

  • Hooking a person up to a dialysis-like machine that cycles blood through a tube where it can be zapped with a laser.
  • Due to its penetrative ability, applying a resonant frequency with ultrasound equipment instead of a laser.

Adding to the task of using lasers to kill a hepatitis virus is the apparent complexity of the Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C capsids.

Hepatitis B Capsid – As published in the June 2006 edition of the journal Molecular Cell, Scripps researchers examined the capsid of the Hepatitis B virus. According to Professor Mark Yeager, MD, PhD, the Hepatitis B virus is enormous, nearly 10 times larger than a hemoglobin molecule. The Hepatitis B capsid has icosahedral symmetry, resembling the geometric structure of a geodesic dome. The capsid itself is contained within an outer envelope formed by a lipid bilayer, similar to the membranes that enclose all human cells. The membrane of the Hepatitis B virus is studded with glycoprotein spikes, which bind to receptors on liver cells to mediate infection.

Hepatitis C Capsid – The Hepatitis C capsid also has the twenty-sided icosahedral crystalline form. This structure forms an efficient sphere that can be built from the smallest building blocks, conserving host cell energy for the production of viruses. Additionally, Hepatitis C also surrounds their capsids with an additional envelope of lipids to further insulate the virus from damage.

Once the frequency is established for dismantling a viral capsid, and a safe and effective way to administer that frequency is determined, then the hepatitis viruses will no longer be a threat to liver health. The Arizona scientists assure us that normal cells will not be affected by virus-killing lasers or sound waves because they have resonant frequencies much lower than those of viruses. Another promising characteristic of this technology is that viruses are unlikely to develop a resistance to mechanical shaking like they do with drugs.

Applying vibrational physics to therapeutic virology is a fascinating concept. With enough time, experimentation and successful trials, scientists are hopeful they will find the right resonant frequencies for each virus. Although this technology has a long way to go, a zap of light could change the way we treat viral hepatitis in the future.

References:

Dryden, Kelly A, Mark Yeager et al., Native Hepatitis B virions and capsids Visualized by Electron Cryomicroscopy, Molecular Cell, June 2006.

Lipton, Bruce, PhD, The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles, Mountain of Love/Elite Books, Santa Rosa, CA, 2005.

www.epidemic.org, Anatomy of the Virus, Trustees of Dartmouth College, 2008.

www.iscid.org, Capsid, International Society for Complexity, Information and Design, 2008.

www.livescience.com, New Way to Kill Viruses: Shake them to Death, Michael Schirber, Imaginova Corp., February 2008.

www.mercola.com, A New Way to Kill Viruses: Shake them to Death, Dr. Joseph Mercola, 2008.

www.sciencedaily.com, Researchers Map Infectious Hepatitis B Virus, ScienceDaily LLC, 2008.

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