April 11, 2007

Chasing The Evanescent Electron

Free radical and DNA damageCome April 2008, I will become older by one year. My physiology will age and decline. There may be photoaging of the skin, formation of cancers and many more. All the above and more can be attributed to the formation of free radicals, pyrimidine dimers etc.. They in turn are caused by wayward and unpaired electrons impinging on other molecules. But spotting these electrons, in real time, had proved elusive. Now the time has come to catch 'em red-handed, though for a very very minute period.

The strong electrical field of a potent Laser, can make electrons in an atom, jerk off briefly. We know that light is a electro-magnetic wave. This phenomenon, called tunneling, is akin to bobbing of a float in water, up and down, due to the propagating wave (laser or light is electromagnetic wave), when an object is thrown in it.

Formation of 'holes' and electrons in semiconductor chips, photoelectricity, pyrimidine dimers, free radicals may be explained; even new hypotheses in vision physiology may be put forward, when the technique is mastered. The electron transport chain in the mitochondria may reveal new light, and many other vistas stand to be explored, as a byproduct of this phenomenon.

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