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Radiation to kill viruses.

Hopefully without killing the "host".
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I searched HB and google, and I'm surprised this hasn't been brough up before. A virus is basically a strand of RNA, which messes up your DNA and kills cells (very simplified, I'm no expert here). Radiation is dangerous because it damages your DNA causing cells not to divide, which can lead to death or cancer down the road.

So, if somebody is diagnosed with a non-curable, fatal virus why not treat them with full body radiation in large doses, hopefully breaking up the genetic material of the viruses? This would obviously be dangerous for the patient but humans are a bit more resiliant than the average virus.

DIYMatt, Jul 29 2009

Radiation for warts http://www.pubmedce....fcgi?artid=2459427
Here's warts going on. [bungston, Jul 29 2009]

[link]






       Uh, [21] - link 1 might be a bit relevant, but [DIY] is talking aboot viruses, not cancers.   

       Not that I have an opinion either way as to whether it'll work, but calling [DIY]'s idea about radiotherapy to cure viruses "chemotherapy" is a bit odd. And confusing.
Custardguts, Jul 29 2009
  

       (marked-for-tagline)   

       "very simplified, I'm no expert here"
normzone, Jul 29 2009
  

       Not sure this would be a good idea. Viral genomes are very small, and it would take a huge dose to damage most of them (small targets). In contrast, the human genome is on the order of a million times bigger, presenting a million-fold bigger target. So this is a bit like using artillery shells to rid your home of ants.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 29 2009
  

       //A virus is basically a strand of RNA//--That would be the contents of a retrovirus.   

       //humans are a bit more resiliant than the average virus//--Since viruses inject their DNA into cells, it's generally impossible to kill them with radiation without also killing the cell.
ldischler, Jul 29 2009
  

       Slightly OT, but this reminds me of a chap I met some years ago who claimed to have discovered the resonant frequency of the HI virus. He was hoping to cure infection with ultrasound. I wonder what happened to him?
shudderprose, Jul 29 2009
  

       He's now selling a "Beck Zapper."
ldischler, Jul 29 2009
  

       //this is a bit like using artillery shells to rid your home of ants// Rats! - there goes my idea for ant-hill eradicating howitzer shells.
xenzag, Jul 29 2009
  

       21, those links are poor arguments. The first is a way to image viruses, not kill them, and the second is talking about targeted drug delivery for cancer therapy. I mean, Really?? Your desire to argue is stronger than your desire to be relevant.
daseva, Jul 29 2009
  

       Mammals can survive 1/2000 the radiation exposure that viruses can survive.
WcW, Jul 29 2009
  

       Radiation works only where you give it. It busts up DNA but probably works on cells by triggering apoptosis, possibly in part because of damage incurred to DNA. An irreparably damaged cell kills itself and breaks down, surrendering its components to be recycled for the greater good (to organisms or all cells together as a whole. Cancers do not care about the greater good but may have partially intact apoptotic programs whcih can be triggered.   

       Viruses and unicellular organisms do not have a gretaer good. But if the virus is living in a cell (as they do) and the cell can be induced to commit apoptosis, the process would probably take the virus with it. In fact cells infected with viruses do commit apoptosis to protect nearby cells, and the process is probably evolutionarily optimized to chop up viral DNA within the cells so they do not just get loose and cause trouble next door.   

       Radiation works well against cancers which contain viruses (eg cervical cancer). But could radiation work against a nonmalignant locallized viral condition - for example recalcitrant warts, or a peristent and drug resistent herpes outbreak?   

       My google turned up a 1935 article about use of radiation for warts. It also turned up a lawsuit from the mid 1990s about radiation used for warts. Very interesting.
bungston, Jul 29 2009
  

       //Radiation works well against cancers which contain viruses (eg cervical cancer). But could radiation work against a nonmalignant locallized viral condition - for example recalcitrant warts, or a peristent and drug resistent herpes outbreak?//   

       Radiation is effective against most cancers simply because they are made of rapidly-dividing cells. Such cells do not have the time to repair radiation damage before replication, and therefore apoptose. Slower-replicating cells can take a lot of damage, and still have time to repair it before the critical decision-time of cell division. Radiation is unlikely to be effective in destroying viruses directly.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 29 2009
  
      
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