Quantum mechanics could cure cancer – seriously
I saw this on 60 Minutes last week and was blown away. The idea is deceptively simple – so simple one wonders how in the world it hadn’t been thought of before. Since certain metals are known to absorb electromagnetic waves in the radio spectrum, this guy John Kanzius came up with the idea of injecting tumors with metal and then zapping them with high intensity radio waves. The advantage is that there wouldn’t be any damage to surrounding tissue because radio waves are harmless to biological material. That’s in contrast to current treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy that kill both healthy and non-healthy cells.
The story did not answer one important question, however, that my father picked up on when I told him about it: what happens to the residual metal in the body? Could it cause long-term problems? However, the story did answer the question of how well the surrounding tissue faired, i.e. whether the metal nanoparticles leaked into healthy cells. The answer seems to be a resounding ‘no.’
In any case, this really could be it – the cure for cancer – and the ultimate idea is purely quantum mechanical.