|As to the CNN reporter, they may have been on to something.|
He was talking absolute total rubbish. Indeed the RAM used in your computer is so volatile, even with power applied, that it has to be refreshed every 15 ms to stop it losing its contents. That is why it is called Dynamic RAM. Static RAM doesn't need a refresh. Static RAM is used for the cache memory in your CPU. Static RAM is used because it is extremely fast and extremely expensive compared to Dynamic RAM. It still loses its contents when power is removed.
The only memory that may retain its contents is CMOS memory, the type that is used to store your BIOS settings and has a battery specifically to retain ts contents. That can retain its contents for a some seconds when power is removed but not so long that you can make any use of it.
Then there is ROM which does retain its contents indefinitely but that's a different thing altogether.
If you suspect you have malaware, before running a scan disable System Recovery and reboot before doing the scan. This will rewove any System files from the System Volume Information folder which scanners cannot get to and malware often hides.
There are all kinds of weird and wonderful places malware can hide, the registry being on of them which is stored on the hard disk.
I can assure you,virus do not rely on RAM retaining its contents to preserve itself.