Viral Resonance Therapy (VRT)
An Evokation to Remember
Viral Resonance Therapy
It’s global and especially for places with high incidence or prevalence of HIV/AIDS.
Research and develop a product that uses resonance biophysics to provide a cure for HIV/AIDS.
It’s completely innovative and unique: there are no known cures for HIV. Moreover, there is no known cure for any virus. Most of the HIV/AIDS scientific research is on treatments (anti-retroviral) and vaccines. Of the few people working on curative HIV/AIDS research, I know of no one approaching it from a molecular biophysics standpoint as we do in this proposal.
Related to Evoke, it deals with a crisis that was not directly addressed in the 10 mission--global health. Global health is connected to social innovation, the energy crisis, the water crisis, the food crisis, the future of money, etc.--all the missions, but we never studied pandemics directly. Secondly, it deals with the need for a foundation of science and technology in all social innovation and development interventions. Science and technology drive innovation. It’s a proposal asking for funding to finish the research and development stage.
Currently 33.4 million people live with AIDS, as of 2008. Since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, 60 million people have contracted AIDS, and 25 million have died as a result of AIDS-related causes. Thankfully the incidence rate (rate of new infections) is down to 2.7 million as of 2008, and 2 million adults and children died from AIDS-related causes in 2008. But these are people still dying. In fact, 7,000 new people contract the virus each day. HIV and AIDS disproportionately attacks the youth, the poor, and women.
We have developed drugs, anti-retroviral, to treat the disease, and today the drugs are powerful enough to help an HIV/AIDS patient reach a state where the virus is undetectable in her body. The only problem is that the drugs must be taken again and again and again. Drugs not only avoid a permanent solution but they require money to keep purchasing for an entire lifetime. And they are often sold at a price that is prohibitive in many developing countries. In fact, there are still many places in developing countries, where contracting HIV is a death sentence unlike in the US where you can obtain medicines more easily. And today we still have more new cases of HIV infection than new HIV positive people who start anti-retroviral medication. There are not enough medicines to go around and a cure is needed badly as HIV is often another sickness that can attack similar to malaria, TB, and many neglected tropical diseases.
The Next 3 Years
Year 1 - We will find funding to start the project by January 2011. It will take 3 months to find the proper stress-strain curve of the virus and another 3 months to code the computational solid dynamics and find the resonant frequencies. During the following 6 month we’ll be able to create a micro experiment in a lab with two thermo-coupled solutions (one with HIV and one without) and drive them with a thermal force and see if we find absorption at certain resonant frequencies. At this point, we will have reached proof-of-concept
Year 2 - This year is taking the proof of concept and trying to replicate results with different mutations and strains of the virus around the world. This will be done for the first 6 months through travel and remotely. In the 2nd six months, adjustments will be made for whatever was learned or specific adjustments for specific virus strains. The 7th, 8th, and 9th months will be used to design the product to house the machine. And the final three months will be used to build a prototype (poof of concept).
Year 3 - Rollout. This is the year that we distribute and sell the machine to the government and NGO’s and get it to as many people as possible, both in developing countries, emerging countries, and developed countries.
VRT would initially serve over 30 million. Afterwards, VRTs would serve over 2 million annually (the global incidence rate).
1. The project would fail if there was lack of funding to prove the unorthodox and creative scientific idea or test it.
2. A sub-optimal scientific idea that doesn’t work would be a barrier to entry.
3. Public policy and global health policy might be a barrier as there are many different, sometimes competing, ideas about how to get funding and medicines for those with neglected diseases.
HIV lab resource $350
ATM cantilevers and beams $100
Computational work 0
HIV lab resource $350
Lab test in thermo-coupled solution + $200
With my first $1,000, I would pay for a person trained to use HIV in a lab to prepare a specimen on a grid for atomic force microscopy inspection, perform the cheaper version of ATM to determine the stress-strain relationship, use that relationship in the computer code, compute the natural vibrating frequencies, and then run a micro-experiment to test it. All of the knowledge would be publicly available.
I’m working with Professor Vinod K**ar, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at El Paso. He helps with computational resources and provision of students on the project. Professor Todd Sulchek at Georgia Tech provides the atomic force microscopy (AFM) or scanning force microscopy (SFM) expertise to allow us to characterize how the virus reacts to force (how it deforms or move). I’ve also received valuable brainstorming time with a structural biologist at the University of Cape Town.
The 3 Most Important Things
Build partnerships with a person with access to the virus itself, someone trained to work with the virus in a Bio-safety level (BSL) 2 lab or facility.
Obtain a medical doctor on the team for legitimacy.
Secure operational funding for proof-of-concept stage.
The Defining Moment
I wanted to live outside the US for awhile, so I moved to South Africa. The issues of crime, racial segregation, reconciliation or the lack, housing, public health issues, poverty, unemployment was too much. While there I was given complete freedom on what to research or work; I chose to work on HIV/AIDS since I believe in the right to good health and good health care. Then I wanted to work on with people. Often times one can become so isolated in a lab, that I decided I wanted to work on the social side to be grounded in the human experience and see some of the people for whom I was working. So I studied and became certified as an HIV/AIDS and crisis pregnancy counselor while doing scientific HIV/AIDS research.
Often times, people outside a certain field of research are more creative in that area because they don’t have the type of limitations produced from intimate knowledge within an academic field. And I remember the day someone just told me to radiate the virus. It seemed silly at first, but why not? I’m not exactly irradiating it, but I’m doing something similar, exploiting its natural vibrational frequencies.
I’m in the States, again, but that drive is still there to finish the job. And so I continue to push on.
The Social Innovator
Victor, PhD, is a Science & Technology Policy Fellow and social innovator student and future social entrepreneur.