High-Tech Patch Keeps Bugs at Bay

Dennis Faas's picture

For many Americans, camping is the best kind of vacation. It's a simple and cheap way to unwind and 'disconnect' from the busy working world.

But there are drawbacks to heading into the bush on a hot weekend in July -- for one, there's a good chance you'll be 'eaten alive' by merciless, blood-sucking mosquitoes.

Until recently, keeping the bugs at bay meant lathering one's self in smelly sprays and lotions. But a new, high-tech patch could make you practically invisible to bugs for a full two-day period.

Special Patch Blinds Mosquitoes

It's called the Kite Patch and it uses a mixture of non-toxic compounds designed to eliminate mosquitoes' ability to find human beings. The patch doesn't even need to be applied to skin -- sticking it on your clothing works just fine.

Of course, Kite Patch isn't just designed to protect campers from annoying bites. By keeping mosquitoes away it could also drastically reduce the number of malaria infections, saving hundreds of thousands of lives.

In fact, it's estimated that a child dies of malaria every minute of every day. 660,000 people, most of whom were based in Africa, succumbed to the disease in 2010. (Source: cnet.com)

Kite Patch is the work of University of California and Olfactor Laboratories researchers. Microsoft co-founder and former chairman Bill Gates supported the research through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Also backing the project: the National Institutes of Health.

Additional Testing Required

But there's still a long way to go before the Kite Patch makes it abroad or onto store shelves. The project still needs to undergo rigorous testing in Uganda, so researchers are looking for an additional $75,000.

To raise the money, which will be used to send 20,000 Kite patches to Africa, researchers have started an Indiegogo campaign. (Source: indiegogo.com)

Those interested in supporting the project will receive ten patches with a $35 donation. To view the Indiegogo page, click here.

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