Gates Foundation Dishes Out Latest $100K Grants for ‘Out of the Box’ Global Health Ideas

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whether live gut bacteria can generate immunity by delivering poliovirus antigens to the intestinal mucosa.

• Jacob John of Christian Medical College in India will study the effect of inactivated poliovirus vaccine on gut immunity in Indian children previously given the oral polio vaccine. Boosting immunity with IPV could result in strategies for accelerating polio eradication.

Examples of vaccines and other tools:

• Erez Lieberman-Aiden and his team at Harvard University, propose to develop a low-cost microbial fuel cell from naturally occurring soil microbes which could be used to recharge a cell phone. These fuel cells do not require any sophisticated materials to build, and can be easily assembled using locally available materials.

• Marc-Andre Langlois of the University of Ottawa, Canada, will develop small molecules that combine together to form a toxic compound that specifically eliminates only HIV-infected cells. If successful, it could lead to a cure for HIV.

Examples of next generation sanitation technologies:

• Guillermo Bazan of UC Santa Barbara will explore an innovative way to break down human waste and convert the energy into electricity and heat.

• Virginia Gardiner of Loowatt in the United Kingdom will develop a waterless toilet that seals waste into a portable cartridge within biodegradable film, for local anaerobic digestion. The digester produces fuel and fertilizer, creating local waste treatment economies.

• Olufunke Cofie of the International Water Management Institute in Ghana will develop fertilizer pellets made from treated human waste for market sale to increase agricultural productivity in sub-Saharan Africa and reduce health risks from untreated waste.

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