Photos: Tech ideas for humanity
Massachusetts Institute of Technology kicked off EurekaFest, a four-day public celebration of inventors and inventions, with a ceremony Wednesday honoring , whose teams of contestants focus on ways technology can alleviate humanitarian problems.
Arne Bomblies, of Team Malaria Solutions, a competition winner this year, shows his team's solution to reducing malaria in the mosquito-prone Sahel zone of Africa. These seeds, which are from the Neem, a tree naturally abundant in the region and fruitful in the wet season, can be shelled, crushed into a powder and sprinkled on ponds and puddles to kill mosquito larvae.
The Neem provides a low-cost, low-tech solution to villagers who can process and use the nut powder without outside assistance. Because the active ingredients in Neem powder consist of more than 90 different chemicals, the mosquito larvae will not build up a resistance to the powder as they do with manmade pesticides, said Bomblies.
The team, which includes Bomblies, Mustafa Dafalla, Paul Montgomery and Rebecca Gianotti, is planning a trip in June to Banizoumbou, Niger, to conduct further proof-of-concept tests that Neem powder works. Previous tests have shown that it reduces local mosquito populations by 80 percent.
Text by Candace Lombardi, staff writer, CNET News.com
May 3, 2007 8:42 AM PDT
Photo by: Candace Lombardi/CNET News.com
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