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The Egyptian military announced yesterday that it has developed a device that can diagnose HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C virus non-invasivly with 100% accuracy and can do so from a distance of up to 500 meters. The device has no electronics and is claimed to be powered by the body's static electricity.

This device is nothing but a divining rod, a sham invention inspired by another sham invention that some hold responsible for the death of 26,000 Iraqis. The ADE651 is a bomb detector that was sold to Iraqi government by a British fraudster through a corrupt Iraqi general for millions of dollars. Both are currently where they belong: in prison.

In reality both devices utilize a psychological trick called the ideomotor effect.

Last year, news of the divining rod reached the international press and was a source of embarrassing ridicule from the scientific community. For mysterious reasons the same device is being announced again.

The announcement is far more serious this time. The army claims to have invented something called, in its power-point presentation to the interim president and defense minister, the Complete Cure (CC). A dialysis like machine that possibly uses electromagnetic signals to treat HIV, Hepatitis C and psoriasis in more than 90% of cases. Treatment will start on June 30.

Okaaay so the Egyptian military isn't exactly on the map of worldwide biomedical research. It is an institution, when it comes to medicine, that has the reputation of virginity checks, operating on protesters without anesthesia and targeting field hospital doctors.

And before you accuse me of driving a wedge between the people and the last respectable institution and so on remember that such extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence.

If it's true, as the army claims, that they have developed a gift for humanity, their inventions must be scrutinized by the international scientific community. Announcing that the device will not be exported and will only be available in military hospitals and guarded as a state secret is ridiculous. Few letters from the ministry of health approving the device are evidence of nothing and can be arranged by a phone call from top generals.

Such claims offer hope and nothing more and eventually the claims will collapse in the eyes of the public and this won't only tarnish the reputation of the military but will also harm our own sense of initiative towards science.

Update: The president's scientific advisor asks for independent scientific review of the claimed treatment.
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