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Ebola-killing robots zap viruses in hospitals

By T.K. Randall
October 12, 2014 · Comment icon 7 comments

Disinfecting hospitals is a vital task. Image Credit:
A sophisticated new robot is battling viruses and bacteria in hospitals across the United States.
Representing the latest line of defense against the increasingly prevalent threat of an Ebola outbreak, the autonomous virus busting robots from San Antonio's Xenex Disinfection have been rolled out to 250 hospitals across the country.

The robots take a high-tech approach to fighting viruses and bacteria by using ultra-violet light to destroy their DNA. Each session involves bathing an area in pulses of light for a period of five minutes to kill any pathogens that might be present.
While ultra-violet light has been used for this purpose before, previous efforts have relied on antiquated mercury-based light bulbs which are toxic to humans.

These new robots however use xenon gas to produce ultra-violet light up to 25,000 times more intense than that produced by the sun which makes them far more effective at killing germs.

If all goes well then the robots may soon also be sent to Africa to tackle the virus at its source as well as to airports to help disinfect airliners that have returned from affected countries.

Source: Discovery News | Comments (7)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Sundew 10 years ago
UV sterilizers are quite popular in aquaria for killing algae, bacteria, etcetera, I believe they used a high intensity UVB bulb. This is not the "black light" of the day-glo poster days, and there are all kinds of warning about looking into the tube that houses the bulb. My understanding is that the UVB shreds the DNA of the organisms, killing them. You could also fill a sealed room with ozone and then pump it out after a time. And simple chlorine bleach kills just about anything. There are things that bacteria and viruses are unlikely to ever develop immunity to and the more of these we empl... [More]
Comment icon #2 Posted by SurgeTechnologies 10 years ago
Well good job, but still pretty useless...
Comment icon #3 Posted by Jyre Cayce 10 years ago
The lights will also fry chicken and cooks hamburgers, making them the ideal tool for KFCs and Burger Kings dirty kitchens.
Comment icon #4 Posted by bubblykiss 10 years ago
This is effective against both microbial life and deadly vampires. So, it must be good.
Comment icon #5 Posted by QuiteContrary 10 years ago
Well good job, but still pretty useless... Why? (serious not a snarky question)
Comment icon #6 Posted by bubblykiss 10 years ago
Why? (serious not a snarky question) You wanna be the person scrubbing hemorrhagic fever offa the stuff in hospitals?
Comment icon #7 Posted by QuiteContrary 10 years ago
You wanna be the person scrubbing hemorrhagic fever offa the stuff in hospitals? Sorry, I'm still lost. How are these robots "pretty useless" (post #3) is my question?

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