Malaria kills almost a million people every year and makes another 250 million people very, very sick. Soon we may be able to instantly cure the scourge the same way you heat up your sad, frozen dinner-for-one.
Today, Fast Company is reporting that researchers have found that they may be able to cure malaria by sticking human beings in a human being-sized microwave. Why didn't I think of that? The timing couldn't be better for some out-of-the-box thinking because multi-drug resistant malaria has been popping up all over Africa, Asia, and South America.
In theory, it works like this: malaria parasites have some extra iron in them (due to digesting your precious blood), so by shooting low-level microwaves at you, it heats up the iron in the parasites, making them explode (awesome), but leaving the rest of your tissues intact. If it works, then these walk in microwaves may provide an "instant" cure. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (who has an extra large middle finger for malaria) is sponsoring a second round of research.
According to the World Health Organization (where my lil' brother is working. Go Matt!), 3.3 BILLION people live at risk of contracting malaria, and every 30 seconds a child dies of it. I was under the impression that putting a person in the microwave was a bad idea, but if these folks can figure out how to do it safely and cure malaria, I will gladly hold your Hot Pockets dinner on a plate while I'm being cured. [Fast Company]