LATEST NEWS: FEBRUARY 2016
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Zika virus a global public health emergency.
This highlights the threat of mosquito-transmitted diseases such as malaria, with almost half the world’s population (3.2 billion) is at risk from malaria, with expectant mothers and children under five particularly vulnerable. This is a global problem which particularly threatens African countries such as Uganda.
Unlike the Zika virus, malaria is a parasitic infection spread by Anopheles mosquitoes. The Plasmodium parasite that causes malaria is neither a virus nor a bacterium – it is a single-celled parasite that multiplies in red blood cells of humans as well as in the mosquito intestine.
AZOLLA CAN HELP COMBAT ZIKA AND OTHER MOSQUITO-BORNE VIRUSES INCLUDING MALARIA
Azolla Biosystems and its sister organization, the Azolla Foundation, have combined their expertise to develop a system to combat the threat of viruses transmitted by mosquitoes. These include Zika, malaria, chikungunya, dog heartworm, dengue, yellow fever,eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis,
Above left to right: Photographs of mosquito larvae, mosquito emerging from pupa, and adult mosquito.
The Zika virus is transmitted by mosquitoes, with estimates of up to four million people becoming infected in the Americas in 2016 and the virus reaching pandemic levels the same year.
There is no known cure or vaccine for the Zika virus, so that the only way to mitigate the threat at present is to reduce populations of the mosquitoes that transmit the virus.
Azolla is able to reduce mosquito populations by forming dense mat on the surface of the water, preventing adult mosquitoes from laying eggs and also reducing the emergence and development of mosquito larvae.
Above: Photographs of Azolla forming a dense mat on the surface of water. Left, Azolla grown in a rice paddy. Centre, Azolla grown in a container, Right, detail of the dense mat of Azolla.
Additional details are given on this page.
Our scientists are available for consultation to aid governments and other organizations who are working to reduce outbreaks of the Zika virus. Please contact us for details.
ABOUT AZOLLA BIOSYSTEMS
Azolla BioSystems uses a natural biological process to reduce the threat of man-made climate change by converting the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) directly into a unique free-floating plant called Azolla.
Selected amounts of Azolla are removed as high-density carbon products and the remaining biomass provides local renewable biofuel, biofertilizer, livestock feed and food anywhere in the world, without displacing arable land or natural ecosystems such as rainforests.
Details about Azolla are given on the Azolla Foundation website which we set up to disseminate information about Azolla.
Integration with algal growth and biofuel production
Nitrogen-enriched water produced by Azolla is used to promote algal growth within the biosystem. This increases the efficiency and amount of CO2 sequestration, and reduces the cost of both the Azolla and algal (A-A) components of the biosystem.
The integration of Azolla and algal growth within a single biosystem provides a range of biofuel products that are available locally anywhere in the world using our modular stacking system.
Aquaponics and hydroponics
The biosystem also uses the nitrogen-enriched water and Azolla biomass for aquaponics and hydroponics. These provide food precisely where it is needed, and supplement the multiple agro-products generated from Azolla-based biofertilizer and livestock feed.
21st Century approach
Our sustainable approach is consistent with the 21st Century shift away from increasingly expensive and non-renewable petroleum-based fuels and chemical fertilizers. These often have negative environmental impacts and require long-distance transportation to the locations where they are used.
The value of our approach was recognized in 2013 when we received the Technology Strategy Board’s Innovation Award to work with the Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC), part of the UK’s University of Lancaster.
Azolla BioSystems Ltd Corporate Structure
Azolla Biosystems Ltd has offices in Canada (Calgary), the USA (Chicago) and the UK. Please contact the UK’s head office for details.
Our Advisory Board includes global experts in multiple fields, including biofertilizers, biofuel, livestock feed, food, genetics, and high-value pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, bioplastics and biopolymers.
Azolla Biosystems is currently developing opportunities and commodities in eight sectors:
- Design including architectural development of Azolla Hubs
- Sequestration including the development of new Azolla strains
- Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) including Azolla’s conversion into bioplastics and biopolymers
- Biofuels produced from Azolla, and its integration with the production of algoil (algal-oil) and other renewable biofuels
- Biofertilizers including its use in rice production and other crops
- Livestock Feed including the production of long shelf-life Azolla pellets
- Food including hydroponics, and aquaponics
- Research & Development including high-value pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, bioplastics and biopolymers.
These form the basis of the Azolla BioSystem that we have developed – a flexible, modular biological system that can be adapted to local needs anywhere in the world.