Biomimicry: unintended consequences | Editorial

Sunday, July 15, 2012 - 15:00 in Health & Medicine

Research on the silk moth may have turned up a method for preserving fragile vaccines even in hot climatesUS scientists have devised a new way of storing and delivering vulnerable antibiotics and vaccines, with a little help from the silk moth. Infectious diseases kill millions of children every year, and continue to do so in the developing world more than two decades after the World Health Organisation, Unicef and charities such as Rotary International launched a campaign to eliminate polio and immunise every child against the six biggest killers.Civil war, corruption, ignorance and poverty all created problems, but one of the biggest is simply the fragile nature of vaccines: they tend to deteriorate rapidly unless kept in the refrigerator. This is a problem even for Britain's National Health Service. It is a much bigger problem in hot, humid regions without clinics, electricity or clean water – those regions where children...

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