Teen inventors want mosquitoes to carry vaccines.
For most of us, when we hear the word 'mosquitoes', we just think of their bites.
Provita Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company run entirely by high school students, is in the process of developing genetically engineered mosquitoes that will act as flying syringes to carry a vaccine for West Nile Virus.
They have applied for a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and presented their research to the United States Food and Drug Administration.
CEO of Provita, 16 year old Joshua Meier said: "We can’t really culture mosquitoes in the lab at our high school because that’s dangerous, but we a have research advisor and ideas planned out, and the next step is making a partnership, contacting other places that do have animal facilities.”
The research project is similar to one in which scientists are trying to breed sterile mosquitoes to release in parts of the world that have problems with malaria.
Another team of scientists in Japan used mosquitoes as a model to develop microneedles that would cause less irritation than the syringes commonly used in hospitals and doctor’s offices.
The needle is one millimeter long and point 1 millimeter in diameter.
What do you think?
Is it a good idea to distribute vaccines through a mosquito?