Saturday, December 9, 2006

Better Bananas, Nicer Mosquitoes

The Gates Foundation gave away $450 to several promising healthcare researchers around the world. The NYTimes had a good run down.
In the hallways and over cocktails and dinners -- all paid for by the foundation -- virologists and neurologists talked with plant biologists and nanoparticle physicists, sometimes finding ways to help one another. For example, a scientist with plans to improve vitamin-fortified ''golden rice'' asked the designer of a hand-held laboratory to test blood for pathogens whether it could be modified to test blood for iron and vitamins.

Also lab on a chip type of stuff

[Dr. Paul Yager's] prototype, will test a finger-stick drop of blood for flu, malaria, typhoid, dengue, measles, rickettsia, salmonella and other fever-causing infections -- a tall order, because the infecting agents range from minuscule viruses to relatively immense parasites.

Ideally, the blood will be dripped into a well in a 30-layered piece of disposable plastic the size of a thick credit card, divided and sucked down 16 hair-narrow channels, mixing with reagents stored dry in tiny pits on the cards.

No comments: