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Tech companies wage war on disease-carrying mosquitoes

CHICAGO: American technology companies are bringing automation and robotics to the age-old task of battling mosquitoes in a bid to halt the spread of Zika and other mosquito-borne maladies worldwide. Firms including Microsoft Corp and California life sciences company Verily are forming partnerships with public health officials in several U.S. states to test new high-tech tools. In Texas, Microsoft is testing a smart trap to isolate and capture Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, known Zika carriers, for study by entomologists to…

Microsoft, partners using mosquitoes to detect viruses, prevent disease outbreak

Many disease outbreaks start from viruses found in animals but are very difficult to study. A Microsoft research project called Project Premonition aims to monitor these viruses using mosquitoes as natural field biologists that collect blood samples from animals. It works like this: When mosquitoes bite animals, they obtain a small amount of blood containing genetic information about the animals that were bitten and viruses present. That information could be used to detect pathogens before they cause outbreaks.…