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New Bacteria-Killing Light is Safe for Humans

By / 11.18.10

Researchers at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary and University of Strathclyde have discovered a way to kill superbugs like MRSA and C.diff using light.  Normally, light that kills bacteria is also harmful to human cells. They discovered a high intensity narrow spectrum (HINS) light that doesn’t harm humans but can excite molecules in bacteria, pushing them to commit cell suicide.  In studies, the HINS-light reduced bacteria on surfaces by 90% in an unoccupied room and reduced bacteria by 56 to 86% in a room occupied by a burn victim infected with MRSA. Note to self: add “burn victim infected with MRSA” to list of things to avoid becoming, above “telemarketer” but below “reality show contestant who isn’t here to make friends”.

The purple light could be installed in hospitals to continually sterilize surfaces and the air, and the researchers even figured out how to combine their HINS-light with LEDs to create a more normal-looking, less purple shade of light. Now we just need to make a portable version of this that comes with a black light to make hotel rooms livable (but still terrifying).  I mean, on the ceiling even? Come on.

[via Medgadget and PopSci]


TAGSBACTERIAHINS LIGHTMedicinesciencescotlandUK

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