In 2008, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded $100,000 to Hiroyuki Matsuoka of Jichi Medical University in Japan to do research on genetically modified mosquitoes.
Hiroyuki Matsuoka at Jichi Medical University in Japan thinks it may be possible to turn mosquitoes that normally transmit disease into “flying syringes,” so that when they bite humans they deliver vaccines.
Professor Hiroyuki Matsuoka will attempt to design a mosquito that can produce and secrete a malaria vaccine protein into a host’s skin. The hope is that such mosquitoes could deliver protective vaccines against other infectious diseases as well.
If Matsuoka proves that his idea has merit, he will be eligible for an additional $1 million of funding. The Washington Post referred to flying syringes as a “bold idea”.
Infact, Bill Gates once did actually released a swarm of mosquitoes on unsuspecting crowd at a TED conference in 2009.
“There’s no reason only poor people should have the experience,” Bill Gates said, before adding that the mosquitoes were not infectious.
The researchers showed that their new dye, which consists of nanocrystals called quantum dots, can remain for at least five years under the skin, where it emits near-infrared light that can be detected by a specially equipped smartphone.
While the UK is GAVI’s largest funder, its implementation follows what is known as the” Gates approach”. Known as the Vaccine Cartel or Pharma Cartel by critics, its vaccines have been accused of causing at least 38 million premature deaths worldwide.