GATES FOUNDATION FUNDS BAY AREA RESEARCHERS
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Researchers in the Bay Area are joining in an innovative campaign to treat diseases and health threats that impact millions of people, but are often overlooked. And their solutions involve thinking outside the box.
One example for anyone studying dangerous parasitic worms is the Worminator. The unusual device was built by researchers at UCSF to study the worms responsible for River Blindness, a disease that affects thousands of people in Central America.
“These worms are this long, some of them are this long,” Dr.James McKerrow said, stretching his hands shoulder wide.
So big, according to McKerrow, that you can’t squeeze them into the small sample plates that are typically used to test thousands of potential drug compounds at once. To get around the problem, the UCSF team designed the Worminator to spy on the worms in a different way. Using cameras and high-speed software to scan the activity in each sample well.