Gizmodo recently reported that some researchers at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense are working on a new way to attack bacteria and viruses in the human body using buckyballs. A buckyball is a molecule that contains 60 carbon atoms arranged in the shape of a football. While scientists have been playing with buckyballs since the mid-1980s, thus far, they have not managed to develop practical applications for the molecule.
This situation may change thanks to the work of the Danish researchers. They have simulated the addition of nitrate molecules that would turn them into buckybombs. They would be set to explode on the molecular level, reaching a temperature of 4000 degrees C in a billionth of a second.
The idea is that doctors would introduce these buckybombs into the human body which would then seek out and destroy bacteria and viruses, blowing them up. The explosions would be tiny enough to that they would not damage surrounding tissue. A variant would enter cancer cells and destroy them from within.
This innovation may come just in time as medical researchers have become increasingly concerned about the growth of antibiotic-resistant germs. According to the CDC, some two million Americans get infected with these kinds of diseases every year, killing 23,000. While researchers are working on new drugs and new protocols to deal with the problem, it is likely to persist. The ability to blow up diseases within the human body would provide a much-needed tool and business opportunity in the fight against infectious illnesses.