We are raising funds for a project to help people diagnose and report whether mosquitoes around their home or neighborhood are carrying the Zika virus.
The DIY Diagnostics stream of the Freshman Research Initiative works to address real-world health challenges, including the Zika virus. This virus is expected to continue to spread, including in the United States in the months and years ahead. The CDC has confirmed Zika causes microcephaly, which causes serious birth defects. It is important to protect ourselves from such an outbreak and be proactive in mapping the spread & scope of the infection. This knowledge would also be of tremendous importance to pregnant mothers who could use the information to protect themselves against mosquitoes.
This stream is working to design a handheld device for consumers to test for the virus. The device is battery operated, requires little technical knowledge and no laboratory to operate. Results are available in about 45 minutes. A smartphone application is also being developed to aid in the interpretation of the results of the device.
Improving public health can begin with each of us! Please support our work to develop this affordable and simple-to-use device and app that will allow ordinary people to fight back against Zika virus.
About DIY Diagnostics: We are a research stream of the Freshman Research Initiative led by Dr. Andy Ellington in the Department of Molecular Biosciences, Dr. Peter Stone in the Department of Computer Science, and Dr. Tim Riedel, Research Educator. Our work has been featured in Austin Monthly, The Daily Texan, and the Austin American Statesman and on Univision, KVUE, KXAN, KEYE, Texas Public Radio, and more.