A new radiation mechanism could more directly target cancer, and may someday help clean up environmental disasters such as the Gulf oil spill and detect explosive powder hidden underneath clothing, a study has said.
University of Central Florida physicist Richard Klemm and a team of scientists in Japan, who developed the mechanism, reckon that it can help doctors more directly target cancer and many other diseases, reducing the impact of treatments on healthy parts of the body.
The mechanism operates in the Terahertz gap - the range between microwave and infrared frequencies.
Until now, scientists have not been able to tap into these frequencies with much success.
"It's a small range, but these frequencies are the important ones absorbed by biochemical molecules," said Klemm.
This technique may also offer a more direct way track down what's ailing a patient.
"Our mechanism could be used to detect the amino acids in DNA, which may be linked to specific diseases. That means it's a good diagnostic tool," added Klemm.
The mechanism could be even be used to track miniscule traces of explosives hidden under clothing, a tool national security experts may find useful in preventing terrorist attacks.
Results from the study have been published in Physical Review Letters, one of the most prestigious and highly ranked physics journals.