- The Jerusalem Post reports that “Israeli scientists have found a way to destroy the Novel Coronavirus in two seconds”, confusing the 229E coronavirus found in 1966 with the Novel Coronavirus responsible for today’s outbreak.
- studies have shown that 95GHz radiation can be used to disinfect surfaces and contaminated water, but the technology is not available for humans.
Background of the event
On November 25, The Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli scientists had found that a special form of radiation can kill The novel Coronavirus and polio viruses currently circulating in two seconds.
As soon as the news was released, it was reprinted by foreign media, and some Chinese media also compiled the news.
Research has found that millimeter waves can kill 99.8% of the Novel Coronavirus in two seconds, Lenta reported on 28 November
So what should we make of this study? To what extent will so-called “millimeter-wave special radiation” end the epidemic that has thrown human society into chaos?
The study was led by a team at Ariel University in Israel and published in the journal Environmental Chemistry Letters, according to the Report, published in the Jerusalem Post. The results “may have important implications for how to disinfect the environment and equipment in a rapid and effective manner,” the report said.
Environmental Chemistry Letters is published by Springer, a Swiss publisher of academic journals. According to the official website, its impact factor was 9.027 in 2020 and 8.216 in the past five years. Overall, the journal is highly reliable.
Springer, environmental Chemistry Letters
The Jerusalem Post interviewed two of the paper’s co-authors, Professor Moshe Einat and Dr. Gabi Gerlitz, although it did not name the paper by name.
A search for Moshe Einat and Gabi Gerlitz on Researchgate, It was discovered that the two had collaborated ona paper entitled Corona and Polio viruses are sentisive to Short Exposure of W-band gyroton in August Radiation). The paper’s co-authors are also from Ariel University.
The research team irradiated laboratory-grown poliovirus and coronavirus 229E using a 95GHz gyrotron with an output power of about 10 kilowatts, the paper said. Based on scanning microscope imaging analysis, 95GHz radiation destroys virus envelope and changes virus morphology through concentrated high temperature.
The results showed that the inactivation rate of both viruses increased exponentially after 2 seconds of irradiation. Poliovirus decreased by about 99.375% and 229E coronavirus by about 99.98% — while 0.02% is very close to the minimum dose for novel coronavirus infection in humans.
The W-band cyclotron used in the experiment
The results seem very encouraging. However, it is worth noting that, despite its homology, the 229E coronavirus in this study is very different from the “novel Coronavirus” we know as the cause of today’s outbreak — in other words, it is not the same coronavirus.
The Fourth edition of the Encyclopedia of Virology notes that seven coronaviruses that can infect humans have been identified so far. The 229E coronavirus is the oldest of the family, having been known since the 1960s.
According to a 2016 study published in the journal Trends in Microbiology, the 229E coronavirus typically causes only mild symptoms such as headache, fever, and cough, incubates for about two to five days, and generally does not cause severe pneumonia, except in immunocompromised patients, Not to mention the extremely low fatality rate.
The chart is taken from Epidemiology, Genetic Recombination, and Pathogenesis of Coronaviruses. The article appears in Trends in Microbiology, vol 24, no 6 (2016)
Therefore, although the Arielle team has suggested a possible future for this research, namely inactivating and disinfecting the Novel Coronavirus that is currently baffling humans, the original test subjects were not the current Novel Coronavirus itself, and there is no evidence that the team has conducted similar tests on the Novel Coronavirus.
The team points out that using 95GHz rays to disinfect surfaces is safer and more effective than ultraviolet light, and that the technique also allows operators to avoid direct contact or exposure to pathogens. In the future, the technology could be used to disinfect sewage. However, the article also points out that, due to the energy intensive, 95GHz also has a certain amount of damage, some materials may not be able to withstand. As einart told the Jerusalem post, 95GHz is not currently used to kill viruses in the human body.
In conclusion, the Jerusalem Post’s report that 95GHz rays can kill the currently circulating Novel Coronavirus is a misreading of the Ariel University team’s research.
The results showed that irradiation with 95GHz radiation for 2 seconds can kill about 99.98 percent of the 229E coronavirus that adheres to the surface of objects. However, there is no evidence that 95GHz has the same effect on the currently prevalent novel coronavirus. In addition, the application of 95GHz is only limited to the disinfection of surfaces and sewage, and cannot be used to inactivate viruses in human body for the time being.