It’s a little humorous to find a new article by Natural News “Features writer”

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S. L. Baker, writing in a Friday, September 11, 2009 column, where he seems to have made a new discovery in colloidal silver, a substance that has been around for over a century. WikiAnswers says,

the process for making colloidal silver was discovered in the late 1800’s, shortly after Edison harnessed electricity, it immediately became a popular natural infection-fighting agent, used both topically on cuts, burns and infections, and internally as a remedy for a wide variety of infectious diseases. Numerous medical studies were conducted on colloidal silver throughout the early 1900’s, and the substance was used in hospitals and laboratories around the world, in a wide variety of forms, to help fight infection and disease. Studies documenting its phenomenal infection-fighting qualities were written up in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the British medical journal Lancet, and many others. Indeed, as far back as 1919, Alfred Searle, founder of the giant Searle Pharmaceuticals firm, had written, “Applying colloidal silver to human subjects has been done in a large number of cases with astonishingly successful results…it has the advantage of being rapidly fatal to parasites without toxic action on its host. It is quite stable. It protects rabbits from ten times the lethal dose of tetanus or diphtheria toxin.” “

So why is Baker sounding as if colloidal silver is a new discovery when he writes,

In a recent presentation before the annual American Chemical Society meeting held in Washington, D.C., scientist Ankit Agarwal revealed that he’s come up with an approach to healing that can kill 99.9999 percent of bacteria in a wound using a natural substance — silver. And he claims he’s found a way to help skin heal by using tiny, targeted nanoparticles of the precious metal. The treatment could help save diabetics from amputations and help victims of severe burns heal with fewer complications from infections, too.

There’s nothing new about the idea silver can be used as a healing medicine. In fact, Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician known as the father of modern medicine, wrote that silver has beneficial, anti-disease properties. And silver is often used today to prevent wound dressings from becoming contaminated with bacteria. However, the huge loads normally used by Western medicine can damage skin. That has made many doctors, especially those who treat burn victims, shy away from using silver to treat wounds.

But Agarwal, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, believes he’s come up with a way to take advantage of silver’s anti-bacterial properties while at the same time avoiding skin damage and actually promoting the healing of damaged skin. The key? Extremely small doses delivered precisely.”

I hate to break the good news to Baker, but delivering silver in “extremely small doses” is nothing new. Baker even goes on to describe how “Agarwal created the experimental material by alternately dipping a glass plate in two solutions of oppositely charged polymers and then adding a precise dose of silver.” Sounds pretty much like how everyone I know makes colloidal silver, except these guys are making “multilayered” skins which can slow release the silver over skin wounds, which is a genuine innovation.

But additionally, it sounds like scientists looking for ways to patent the use of colloidal silver so they can profit from it. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but let’s call a spade a spade and not pretend this is a new discovery. The applications for burn victims is a genuine innovation, and an exciting new potential application of colloidal silver, but it’s still colloidal silver.