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Robots and Irradiated Parasites Enlisted In the Fight Against Malaria

samzenpus posted about 7 months ago | from the closer-to-the-cure dept.

Medicine 84

First time accepted submitter einar.petersen (1178307) writes "Sanaria is a biotechnology company that has developed a new malaria vaccine. To produce the vaccine Sanaria cultivates mosquitos in a sterile environment and infects them with Plasmodium falciparum. When the mosquitos are chock-full of Pf sporozoites, the company irradiates them to weaken the parasites. Workers then herd up the mosquitos, chop off their heads and squeeze out their salivary glands, where the parasites prefer to live the better to port over to the mosquito’s next victim. They retrieve the weakened parasites from these tiny glands, filter out other contaminants and gather them up into an injectable vaccine. Sanaria’s method faces the additional challenge that dissecting the little buggers is tedious. Researchers can dissect 2-3 mosquitos an hour, which is nowhere near enough to mass-produce a global vaccine. So two years ago, Sanaria began working with the Harvard Biorobotics Lab to develop a robot that could do the work faster."

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Tedious work; designing robots (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47146015)

This is exactly what happens when you raise the minimum wage. All the mosquito head chopping work gets automated.

Re:Tedious work; designing robots (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 7 months ago | (#47148175)

If the disenfranchised workers get hostile, can the system scale up to protect itself?
Well officer, it was a peaceful protest until several ex-employees rushed the mosquito decapitation station...
we have their remains in these vials over here...

Re:Tedious work; designing robots (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 7 months ago | (#47148861)

Given what some countries people will work for, maybe this could be outsoursed?

Or maybe Meg Whitman can offer a HP 3D Printer that makes the robots?

Already Found. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47157629)

http://www.washington.edu/news/2000/03/30/magnetic-fields-may-hold-key-to-malaria-treatment-uw-researchers-find/

Meutrap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47146027)

What it's so cool and great

Hmmm (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47146065)

Not quite the pitch I originally made, rather heavily edited - But nevertheless great to see the submission accepted.

I truly wish Sanaria the best of luck with their venture and hope the slashdot community will help them reach their noble goal!

Re: Hmmm (3, Insightful)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 7 months ago | (#47146097)

That's unfortunately quite a tall order for the Slashdot community. Now, if you'd wish they'd ramble tiresomely about tiny mosquito-decapitating robot overlords running out of control, you might not go home quite so disappointed.

Re: Hmmm (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 7 months ago | (#47146121)

Though your post is already looking prophetic, remember that by posting, you are the Slashdot community.

If you can change just one nerd...

Re: Hmmm (2)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 7 months ago | (#47146205)

That's unfortunately quite a tall order for the Slashdot community. Now, if you'd wish they'd ramble tiresomely about tiny mosquito-decapitating robot overlords running out of control, you might not go home quite so disappointed.

That may be, but can you imagine a beowulf cluster of headless mosquitos?

Re:Hmmm (3)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 7 months ago | (#47146167)

Not quite the pitch I originally made, rather heavily edited - But nevertheless great to see the submission accepted.

I truly wish Sanaria the best of luck with their venture and hope the slashdot community will help them reach their noble goal!

Right, I'm not sure why the Slashdot "Editors" think its OK to completely alter your submission and then post it as if it were a quote directly from you.
The first paragraph of your submission:

"Sanaria is a biotechnology company dedicated to the production of a vaccine protective against malaria caused by the pathogen Plasmodium falciparum has developed a vaccine that in trials has proven to be 100% effective."

Absolutely nothing like what they posted and then claimed as a quote from you. I'm not sure what they think they're doing but they're opening themselves up to a lawsuit should they post the wrong thing and claim it was from the wrong person.

It concerns me to the point that I don't think I'll be submitting any time soon. As of yet, they haven't "invented" quotes from me that were inappropriate but the potential is definitely there. Either post what I submitted verbatim or make it clear you've altered it. Don't make up your own submission and then put it into quote flags and claim it's what I wrote. I didn't write that and, to be frank, Slashdot editors aren't qualified to be speaking on behalf. I'd understand if it was just spelling or grammar corrections but completely altering the post is entirely different.

Re:Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47146347)

I agree it is a matter of concern as well as Slashdot might be opening submitters up to lawsuits if the submissions look too similar to parent articles etc. something I've noticed lately - This was the precise reason why I went hmmm, however it wont hold me back from submitting as I am fairly confident I should not land in any trouble for something a slashdt editor does. I also agree with you on the problems of submissions being heavily rewritten / edited as they drown out submittors style of writing etc. while I am not claiming uniqueness I would prefer the editors to stay away from too heavy editing... but glad it made the front page anyway as it certainly seems like a noble effort that deserves to succeed.

Re:Hmmm (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 7 months ago | (#47146555)

What happens if, 10yrs from now, you run to be your local alderman... and someone brings up a "Quote" found here and attributes it to you? You'll never get a correction out of slashdot, that's for sure. Not that I'm likely to do that ever, but still... it's not right.

Re:Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47146699)

They need to find the middle ground between taking posting shitty with broken links, bad spelling and outrageous grammar; and completely rewriting submissions into something the submitter didn't intend.

Re:Hmmm (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 7 months ago | (#47149145)

Right, I'm not sure why the Slashdot "Editors" think its OK to completely alter your submission and then post it as if it were a quote directly from you.

Well, when you realize that almost every /. "somebody writes" is "quoting" something actually written by someone else, your outrage may be quenched. In this case, the "First time accepted submitter einar.petersen (1178307) writes" claim actually quotes almost verbatim from the original article which has a byline of Cameron Scott. In fact, I say "almost" because I don't see an exact duplicate of the first sentence, but the rest is there.

I'm not sure what they think they're doing but they're opening themselves up to a lawsuit should they post the wrong thing and claim it was from the wrong person.

Imagine Cameron Scott applying for a new job and he gives his potential employer a copy of this (the original) article in his vitae. They google it, and find out that it was written by einar.petersen. Or "cordgrass".

Re:Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47146231)

Workers then herd up the mosquitos, chop off their heads and ...

So, is Sanaria a company of musselmen?

second best (0)

fche (36607) | about 7 months ago | (#47146081)

Perhaps a decade from now, when the vaccine is available, the poor folks living in these areas can stop cursing at the western do-gooders who got DDT banned.

Re:second best (4, Insightful)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 7 months ago | (#47146235)

Perhaps a decade from now, when the vaccine is available, the poor folks living in these areas can stop cursing at the western do-gooders who got DDT banned.

Yeah, then we can get back to putting lead in gasoline, and treating VD with arsenic.

Re:second best (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 7 months ago | (#47146409)

IIRC, the problem with DDT was that is was used indiscriminately and in large quantities, rather than locally, in small quantities, and only use it if the situation warrants it. The dangers of using DDT in that manner may well have warranted the outright ban, but it's been proven since that DDT can certainly be used responsibly, especially against the spread of malaria.

It's similar to the practice of putting antibiotics in cattle feed to prevent / treat diseases or promote growth. Feed used to be laden with the stuff, which gave rise to all manner of resistant strains of diseases. Many countries have now regulated such use of antibiotics and often only allow it when there is an actual outbreak to be treated, but antibiotics haven't been banned outright as far as I know.

Re:second best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47146657)

Which outright ban? Wikipedia says that DDT is still allowed for controlling disease vectors.

Re:second best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47147555)

Not to mention that DDT is only effective when used in a highly controlled, targeted manner.

Bugs start evolving a resistance to it pretty quick. (They're bugs. They breed fast and often) Spray DDT around willy-nilly and we just have DDT resistant bugs inside half a decade.

DDT isn't a pest panacea.

There is unfortunately a lot of misinformation about DDT because it's a favorite meme of intellectually lazy gubmint-is-always-wrong libertarian blowhards.

Re:second best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47147797)

Unfortunately it's pretty much too late. The fucking mosquitos are increasingly immune to it. Completely immune.

Re:second best (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 months ago | (#47147831)

DDT is still used in some areas. However more use means less effective over time. Insects evolve resistance. PLus, a vaccine is better. Killing mosquitoes impacts bird population.

There is exactly zero evidence that any resistant bacteria comes from cattle. IT has all come from hospitals; which makes sens if you actual understand how it works,

Re:second best (1)

fche (36607) | about 7 months ago | (#47146517)

... because all environmentalist efforts are equally valid (?)

Re:second best (1)

the gnat (153162) | about 7 months ago | (#47147019)

Perhaps a decade from now, when the vaccine is available, the poor folks living in these areas can stop cursing at the western do-gooders who got DDT banned.

DDT isn't actually banned in the countries where malaria is endemic - the US isn't one of these, obviously. In fact, mosquito control is still agreed to be a valid use for DDT, unlike agricultural pest control. I know "environmentalists kill people" is a fun meme but would it kill you to get your information from someone other than Michael Chricton?

Re:second best (1)

hamburger lady (218108) | about 7 months ago | (#47147031)

DDT didn't get banned in malaria countries, dummy.

Re:second best (1)

clovis (4684) | about 7 months ago | (#47147309)

Perhaps a decade from now, when the vaccine is available, the poor folks living in these areas can stop cursing at the western do-gooders who got DDT banned.

DDT is not banned in regions where malaria is prevalent.

http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/... [epa.gov]

Re:second best (1)

Layzej (1976930) | about 7 months ago | (#47147365)

Perhaps a decade from now, when the vaccine is available, the poor folks living in these areas can stop cursing at the western do-gooders who got DDT banned.

Likely they are already aware that DDT was never banned (and is still in use) in areas with malaria. There's no stopping the frothing of the anti-environment types though - vaccine or no.

Re:second best (1)

fche (36607) | about 7 months ago | (#47147445)

The scale of DDT spraying has shrunk in those areas - limited to indoors instead of areas.

Re:second best (1)

Layzej (1976930) | about 7 months ago | (#47147527)

Yes. It turned out that carpet bombing with DDT just created DDT resistant mosquitoes.

Just wait till PETA heres about this.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47146087)

The horror! Won't somebody think of the mosquitos being genocided by killer robots !?

Re:Just wait till PETA heres about this.. (2, Funny)

inasity_rules (1110095) | about 7 months ago | (#47146103)

The horror! Won't somebody think of the mosquitos being genocided by killer robots !?

A warm fuzzy feeling inside. Not only because of killer robots and dying mosquitos, but because some idiot at PETA will be annoyed. My day is now complete. :P

Re:Just wait till PETA heres about this.. (1)

NotWallaceStevens (701541) | about 7 months ago | (#47146105)

The antivaxxer anti-irradiation vegan insect rights anti-robot coalition will rise up, certainly.

Re:Just wait till PETA heres about this.. (2)

exploder (196936) | about 7 months ago | (#47146133)

I did. Happiest thought I've had all year.

Re:Just wait till PETA heres about this.. (1)

Alphadecay27 (1277022) | about 7 months ago | (#47148183)

I agree. As someone who lives in a mosquito infested region, I only wish I could get a video of the process. Watching the little bastards get irradiated, then chopped into pieces would bring great joy to my heart!

Not what I had expected (4, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 7 months ago | (#47146115)

Wow.

My wife just got malaria a few weeks ago while visiting Africa. She heard there was a vaccine in development, so I figured it was the usual weakened culture, but I had no idea it actually required dissecting mosquitoes.

I also didn't realize it was Plasmodium falciparum. This is pretty amazing, as not only is falciparum the most deadly species, but it's also the one that responds least to current treatments. If successful (and mass-producible), this could be like the polio vaccine. It'd be a huge advancement in the health of malaria-threatened countries.

Re:Not what I had expected (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47146137)

All the best to your wife, then.

Re:Not what I had expected (3, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 7 months ago | (#47146165)

She's still in Africa, so she went to a hospital, got tested in an hour, and walked out with appropriate drugs in hand. She was feeling better the next day, and now is doing just fine. Thanks for the concern, though.

It helps that she's had malaria before (this is the third time, I think), so she recognized the symptoms immediately and knew to go to the hospital that day. In America, doctors aren't expecting to see malaria, and they aren't likely to recognize it, so treatment here is actually much more difficult.

Re:Not what I had expected (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47149017)

Is she actually getting new infections, or just flare-ups?

Vaccine? (1)

phorm (591458) | about 7 months ago | (#47150287)

Since a vaccine just stimulates your body to produce antibodies via exposed to a "dead virus", shouldn't having had it before mean her body has already been exposed and thus created antibodies?

Re:Not what I had expected (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 7 months ago | (#47146665)

Now if we could just figure out the exact protein that triggers the immune response and just use that it might be easy to produce.

Re:Not what I had expected (0)

StormReaver (59959) | about 7 months ago | (#47149277)

If successful (and mass-producible), this could be like the polio vaccine.

It won't be like the Polio vaccine unless:

1) It is introduced after Malaria is already all but eradicated due to better hygiene and sanitation.
2) It takes credit for the former.

Re:Not what I had expected (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47164757)

www.washington.edu/news/2000/03/30/magnetic-fields-may-hold-key-to-malaria-treatment-uw-researchers-find/

Sharks (1)

hooiberg (1789158) | about 7 months ago | (#47146117)

And sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads!

Interesting (1)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about 7 months ago | (#47146123)

I am interested in exactly how they cut off mosquito heads and empty the salivary glands.

Re:Interesting (4, Funny)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about 7 months ago | (#47146253)

I am interested in exactly how they cut off mosquito heads and empty the salivary glands.

It's very similar to the way they get mothballs.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47146261)

Very carefully I Presume ;) - Why not write to the company and ask them to create an educational video

Re:Interesting (1)

exploder (196936) | about 7 months ago | (#47146415)

Me too. I hope it hurts.

Quite easy: Re:Interesting (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 7 months ago | (#47146695)

There are two techniques, in fact. The older one involves tickling the mosquitoes till they laugh out aloud, and they plunge a tiny syringe in and extract the saliva. Good thing is, we can reuse the mosquito, bad thing is, when the mosquitoes are rolling on the floor laughing it is difficult to plunge the syringe in.

The second technique involves showing them mildly amusing videos and when they smile, it is easier to slip through the syringe and extract the saliva.

They run linux! (1)

ruigominho (1538625) | about 7 months ago | (#47146173)

Apparently linux is now being used used to chop heads off! Watch out ms!

Re:They run linux! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47146211)

I wonder if their version of Linux runs ReiserFS, just for that extra helping of deadliness.

Re:They run linux! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47148441)

Apparently linux is now being used used to chop heads off! Watch out ms!

Beheading mosquitoes? Is that all? Weak.

A mosquito laser [wikipedia.org] that fries the little bastards right in midair was under development in 2007 in part through funding by the Gates Foundation.

Other funding sources? (3, Interesting)

pauljlucas (529435) | about 7 months ago | (#47146177)

I would have thought that one of the US Military (to protect service personnel), Bill Gates (isn't his foundation working on a malaria vaccine too?), or governments in malaria regions would fund this. The desired $250K is nothing for such sources.

Re:Other funding sources? (1)

Threni (635302) | about 7 months ago | (#47146703)

I want some robots. Can I have $250,000 too?

You see the problem.

Re:Other funding sources? (1)

Daniel Bigham (3678745) | about 7 months ago | (#47147475)

They _are_ actually funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation as well as NIH. The reason for the crowd funding is to accelerate SporoBot, rather than writing yet another grant and waiting 9 months for it to come through.

Re:Other funding sources? (1)

pauljlucas (529435) | about 7 months ago | (#47147507)

I can understand the NIH process taking 9 months, but you'd think Bill's foundation would be a lot quicker. A malaria vaccine is probably in the top 5 things to solve. You'd think Bill would take notice and write the check himself.

Re:Other funding sources? (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 7 months ago | (#47149537)

You'd think Bill would take notice and write the check himself.

If Bill were involved, he'd buy the company, kill whatever technology competed with MS, and incorporate what he wanted to copy into the next release of Windows with a press release trumpeting MS cutting-edge research into seamless solutions. And the vaccine would only be available through the Microsoft Certified Solution Provider program.

Super Inspiring (1)

Daniel Bigham (3678745) | about 7 months ago | (#47146185)

Thank you so much Slashdot for posting this. It made my day. I can't remember the last time I read something so inspiring and exciting. Time to make a donation...

Maybe a job for genetic engineering? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47146217)

Maybe I'm underestimating the resourcefulness of the robots in question, but somehow I don't think that the vaccine produced in this heroic manner will ever become widely available to the people who need it, many of whom live on $2 a day. It's awesome that it works, but now that we know it, I would love to see us focus on exactly how the weakened parasite produces the immune response. Then we can try to either engineer an organism like Plasmodium falciparum that doesn't need need mosquito saliva in its life cycle, or a different organism that can produce whatever protein that, in weakened Plasmodium falciparum, triggers the protective immune response in humans. After all, we no longer slaughter chimpanzees to get our polio vaccine...

Genetic programming - mutate and let fittest live (0)

abies (607076) | about 7 months ago | (#47146259)

I'm quite scared by that. You first irradiate them, causing huge amount of genetic mutations. Then you change the environment, killing weakest mutants and let the best live on.
Isn't it a recipe for eventually creating super-bug?

Re:Genetic programming - mutate and let fittest li (1)

mmell (832646) | about 7 months ago | (#47146445)

This technique isn't that far from the one pioneered by Salk nearly a century ago. Isolate and identify the pathogen, then manufacture a weakened or dead version of the pathogen to inoculate patients.

Re:Genetic programming - mutate and let fittest li (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47147241)

Not really, you'd be selecting for radiation resistance I guess but that doesn't seem like it would have much relevance as far as human health goes.

Re:Genetic programming - mutate and let fittest li (1)

godel_56 (1287256) | about 7 months ago | (#47149523)

I'm quite scared by that. You first irradiate them, causing huge amount of genetic mutations. Then you change the environment, killing weakest mutants and let the best live on. Isn't it a recipe for eventually creating super-bug?

Did you miss the part where it's all done in a closed laboratory and they chop the mosquitoes' heads off?

Re:Genetic programming - mutate and let fittest li (1)

abies (607076) | about 7 months ago | (#47149649)

Decapitatiting mosquitoes is hardly going to affect the parasite, which is the thing getting irradiated and possibly mutated. Closed labolatry doesn't really matter, because they are then going to inject irratiated parasites as vaccine.
Key part here is probably amount of radiation - way beyond "let's damage few DNA strands" and more into "why your blood is glowing at night". It is probably strong enough that there is no way any mutation can survive it.

Hopefully no junk mail (1)

loxfinger (571135) | about 7 months ago | (#47146323)

Well, I thought this was worthy of a $5 donation. Now let's just hope they don't spend that much with mailings trying to get me to contribute more.

I would be willing to donate IF... (1)

wisebabo (638845) | about 7 months ago | (#47146339)

... I could be a part of the next clinical trial!

I'm sorry if this sounds too self-centered but assuming that the vaccine has been proven to be safe (I'll take the risk that it might not be effective), I'd be happy to make a donation of a few hundred dollars to be one of the first people to receive it. (I live in a part of the world where I could get malaria). I figure that if I paid a lot more than they expect the final vaccine to cost (there's no way they'll be able to reach hundreds of millions of people in the third world if it's more than a few bucks), I would be helping to accelerate the development of said final vaccine. I think it's only reasonable that I be permitted to get it sooner!

Again, sorry for the "elitist" I want it first attitude but in this case, the early adopters like me would make it possible to save many more lives in the process. And, I don't know too much about these kickstarter campaigns but isn't that typically what donors get in return for their advance payment, to be first in line to get the finished product? Here I'd be doing the same but paying many times the (hoped for) final cost!

Re:I would be willing to donate IF... (1)

dave420 (699308) | about 7 months ago | (#47146905)

It would cost them thousands to get the vaccine to you and to monitor your reaction.

If they could identify the specific antigen marker (1)

mmell (832646) | about 7 months ago | (#47146419)

or markers, couldn't they manufacture the vaccine in quantity using recombinant DNA techniques?

Just thought I'd ask.

I am Bender. Please insert girder. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47146465)

So now these robots will be all "I am Squeezer. Please insert mosquito."

The Headline... (2)

PPH (736903) | about 7 months ago | (#47146477)

... made me think they were cross-breeding the robots and mutant parasites.

I eagerly await the next Japanese horror movie.

Re:The Headline... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47146543)

I think you meant the next best-selling hentai film.

Re:The Headline... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47147463)

I originally read it as Robots and IRRITATED Parasites...

I thought, "Now THAT'S cool!"

Why not use the mosquitoes as the delivery vector? (1)

marciot (598356) | about 7 months ago | (#47146573)

Hum, I wonder why they don't just have the mosquitoes with the weakened parasites bite people. Seems like a lot of work to dissect mosquitoes, concentrate the vaccine, deliver it to doctors, put it in a syringe and inject it. Just ship the mosquitoes to where they are needed, put them in a box, and have people who need immunity stick their arms in the box.

Re:Why not use the mosquitoes as the delivery vect (1)

phorm (591458) | about 7 months ago | (#47150299)

Wouldn't the irradiation that weakens the parasite also kill/weaken the mosquito?

For Profit Company Asking for Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47146687)

I am surprised no one has commented on the fact that Sanaria is a for profit company. Why wouldn't they go down the stock route if this was a worthy venture, or at the very least offer stock in the crowdfunding campaign. Enjoy funding a company who will be selling this at cost + profit but don't worry you get some pictures for helping pay for the companies development.

Sadly the Indiegogo campaign (1)

Jordan1519 (3667517) | about 7 months ago | (#47146879)

Sadly the Indiegogo campaign is at only 14% of the $250,000 asked for ($34,000) with 5 days to go. Although unlike Kickstarter, Indiegogo campaigns get whatever money is raised even if they fail to hit the target.

Re:Sadly the Indiegogo campaign (1)

Daniel Bigham (3678745) | about 7 months ago | (#47147573)

I was sad too to see that. I wonder why their campaign didn't catch on? Looks amazing to me.

DDT would be cheaper and more effective (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47146939)

IBID.

Idea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47146947)

Why they don't leave the irradiated mosquitoes go back in the wild in order they can diffuse the vaccine themselves?

Re:Idea? (1)

Layzej (1976930) | about 7 months ago | (#47147375)

Why they don't leave the irradiated mosquitoes go back in the wild in order they can diffuse the vaccine themselves?

How would you monetize that?

Re:Idea? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 months ago | (#47147879)

morbo

VACCINES DO NOT WORK THAT WAY! /morbo

You need to inject a dose.

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47148269)

So basically they want the investment without giving away equity? Good on them, but if this idea has legs then money should not be an issue.

Don't kill them-use them to vaccinate! (1)

DataRecoverer (3087781) | about 7 months ago | (#47157067)

Why couldn't they just release the irradiated mosquitos directly into affected areas and have them act as a free vaccine distribution vector? I do appreciate that there will be issues but the final costs would be orders of magnitude lower and this approach would naturally be targeting the areas where mosquitos are most active.

Malaria Treatment Found in 2000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47157589)

www.washington.edu/news/2000/03/30/magnetic-fields-may-hold-key-to-malaria-treatment-uw-researchers-find/

Henry Lai, UW research professor of bioengineering, says the malaria parasite Plasmodium appears to lose vigor and can die when exposed to oscillating magnetic fields, which Lai thinks may cause tiny iron-containing particles inside the parasite to move in ways that damage the organism.

ÃoeIf further studies confirm our findings and their application in animals and people, this would be an inexpensive and simple way to treat a disease that affects 500 million people every year, almost all in third-world countries,Ã Lai said. According to the World Health Organization, as many as 2.7 million people die of malaria every year. Approximately 1 million of those are children.

In the past two decades, the emergence of drug-resistant malaria parasites has created enormous problems in controlling the disease. Lai says his method could bypass those concerns because it is unlikely Plasmodium could develop a resistance to magnetic fields. ....ÃoeWe need to make certain that it wonÃ(TM)t harm the host,Ã Lai said. ÃoeMy guess is that it wonÃ(TM)t. ItÃ(TM)s a very weak magnetic field, just a little stronger than the earthÃ(TM)s. The difference is that it is oscillating.Ã

If the method is proven effective and safe, Lai envisions rooms equipped with magnetic coils to produce the oscillating field.

ÃoeIt would be very easy. People could come to the room and sit and read or whatever while theyÃ(TM)re being treated,Ã he said. ÃoeOr you could set it up in the back of a big transport truck, then drive from village to village to treat people.Ã

Collaborating researchers include Jean E. Feagin, UW associate professor of pathobiology and senior scientist at the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute; and Ceon Ramon, UW electrical engineering research scientist.

This was discovered in 2000.Whats happened since?
Any answers?

Robot has already been created (1)

clovis (4684) | about 7 months ago | (#47158759)

Here's a demo of the new robot. Surely it would be easy to downside and re-purpose these for mosquito heads.

http://www.theonion.com/video/... [theonion.com]

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