Student-run Provita Pharmaceuticals is studying the tiny bugs in the hope that they could become ‘flying syringes.’
Mosquitoes usually spread nasty diseases when they bite humans, but thanks to enterprising high schoolers they could be used for a much better purpose. Biotechnology company Provita Pharmaceuticals, which is entirely staffed by under 18s, is working on a project to use mosquitoes as a ‘flying syringe’ to deliver vaccines.
Co.Exist reports that this project is in its early stages, but the company has given a presentation to the FDA and submitted a grant idea to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The company hopes to genetically engineer mosquitoes so they can produce and deliver a vaccine for the West Nile Virus in their saliva. 16 year old Joshua Meier, the CEO of Provita, said:
We can’t really culture mosquitoes in the lab at our high school because that’s dangerous, but we have a research advisor and ideas planned out, and the next step is making a partnership, contacting other places that do have animal facilities.