Thursday, 16 April 2009

Testing, testing (for HIV and H5N1)

My attention was drawn to two reports on testing for major diseases. One is on HIV, using state-of-the-art nanotechnology and applied around the edge of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, described here. The second report is on a new rapid test for the H5N1 influenza virus, described here. There is a little more detail here. Biologists and chemists will probably understand the direction that the research followed, even if the description is terse.

With the HIV test, I wonder if there is any technology spillover to the local population. The nanotechnology looks like it would require a high education and capital to develop, so it may not lead to production spillovers among the public. The Bwindi hospital itself probably concentrates the highest scientific expertise in that part of Africa, so the medical personnel, when they move on to city hospitals or into private companies, may act to transfer knowledge of operation or production.

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