|Radha and gopis celebrating Holi -18th C|
|An interesting concept|
The 'young' company was founded in 2008 when some science-focused high-school kids decided to collaborate with other business-minded students on a business plan competition for their research. CEO Joshua Meier was a finalist in the 2012 Google Science Fair. The firm has a stem cell lab and a microbiology lab and other sophisticated equipment, and has supporters like the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York to help with future development of the firm.
Their first goal will be to "genetically engineer" mosquitoes so that they can produce and deliver a vaccine, via their saliva, for the West Nile Virus. The researchers said utmost care will be taken to ensure that the mosquitoes will be sterilized to prevent any out-of-control problems. The company's first product, Coagula, will be targeted at haemophiliacs. The haemophiliac's blood has no tendency to clot naturally and so they have to regularly (often several times a week) take coagulants to make their blood thicker -- a painful procedure that also carries with it the risks of infection etc. The "mosquito syringe" method will be painless and efforts are on to develop a treatment that has to be taken once in a few months.
Given the track record of the company and the enthusiasm and expertise of the young team, it is more than likely that such a revolutionary method of vaccine delivery will be the norm in the days to come. Be careful, though, with that swatter when mosquitoes start buzzing!
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