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Microsoft Project Premonition uses mosquitoes, drones, and cloud computing to prevent disease outbreaks

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Microsoft has been one of those rare tech companies in the world that really tries to make the difference by touching the life of millions of people. Not only from the tech point of view but also from the point of humanity. We can see the Microsoft’s sane intentions with the start of Project Premonition.
Project Premonition, a system that aims to detect infectious disease outbreaks before they become widespread, with the goal of preventing major health disasters. Microsoft researchers are working with academic partners across multiple disciplines to develop the system, which collects and analyzes mosquitoes to look for early signs that potentially harmful diseases are spreading.

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For the Project Premonition in action, drones play an important role. Drones that can fly the mosquito traps into and out of remote areas in a semi-autonomous way, rather than having to be constantly directed from the ground. Microsoft researchers are developing ways to make the drones more autonomous. It may sound like the stuff of blockbuster movies, but Project Premonition aims to be fact, not fiction.

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Project Premonition seeks to detect pathogens in animals before these pathogens make people sick. It does this by treating a mosquito as a device that can find animals and sample their blood. Project Premonition uses drones and new robotic mosquito traps to capture many more mosquitoes from the environment than previously possible and then analyzes their body contents for pathogens. Pathogens are detected by gene sequencing collected mosquitoes and computationally searching for known and unknown pathogens in the sequenced genetic material.

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Usually, health officials only find out about an outbreak once people are already getting sick. This means things like vaccines and health clinics may not be up and running for as long as a couple of months after a disease has begun spreading. Project Premonition could eventually allow health officials to get a jump start on preventing outbreaks of a disease like dengue fever or avian flu before it occurs, whether or not it is a disease spread by mosquitoes, researchers said. The ability to predict an epidemic would be huge and could save a lot of lives.
But this project is far from over, it could possibly take few years before it’s complete. It is a huge step in the field of medical sciences and robotics. Looking at this project one can only predict what we can behold in the future.

Source: via