Researchers Exploring How Microwaves May Be Used To Treat Malaria

The New York Times describes a research proposal to investigate the use of low-level microwaves to treat malaria that has received a $1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“The idea … is based on the fact that malaria parasites invade red blood cells and eat the hemoglobin inside them. Hemoglobin contains iron – and, as any bozo who’s ever tried to heat up a sandwich wrapped in tinfoil knows, it’s a bad idea to microwave metal. Of course, the red cells containing parasites are floating along in arteries right next to healthy red cells,” but the microwaves cannot damage the healthy cells because they do not contain the iron-carrying parasites, the newspaper writes (McNeil, 8/22).