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Monday, February 15, 2010
Water and Soap Please
I was browsing through the New York Times online when my eye caught, "Hospital-Clean Hands, Without All the Scrubbing".
Intrigued I read on. A new product is in development whose purpose is to sanitize hands. You place your hands in a box which bathes your hands in plasma ergo killing all the nasty disease causing pathogens (bacteria and viruses). The box will "probably" cause a hundred dollars or less.
Plasma is a pretty murky subject for me so I checked out what it exactly is. Plasma is a distinct form of matter (solid,liquid, gas, plasma) in which a gas is ionized (fancy word for giving an atom an electrical charge). Plasma can act like a solid under certain conditions.
A companion device is being developed so that plasma may be inserted into a hospital's ventilation system and killing all the air born germs too. This would be particularly useful in fighting drug resistant diseases like MRSA.
It all sounds like sunny days and puppy dogs.
If you look how people thought we'd be living today, say forty years ago I'd have a flying car, a robot washing my dishes (I can tell you my friend that isn't happening), and vacations on Moon Colony Alpha. Who knows how long (and if) this technology will take to develop.
Not only that look at another miracle of modern science, DDT. DDT was the chemical thought to be the magic bullet in controlling mosquito populations (and thereby controlling Malaria and other diseases). It was sprayed around willy-nilly. And one day...
Oops! DDT causes cancer and wrecks the ecosystem.
Even if the technology of plasma sanitation reaches the marketplace I think I'll be reaching for soap and water for sometime afterwards. Maybe five or ten years. That should be enough time to see if people grow a third eye from using it.
Of course a third eye could be useful.