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Tech & Business


A student revolutionizes vaccines in Abu Dhabi

A Syrian student from the NYU Abu Dhabi, Marieh Bassam Al Handawi, has put together a vaccine which is both transportable and efficient under extreme hot weather conditions.

Marieh Bassam Al Handawi is the first scientist to have found an answer to a seemingly unresolvable issue. This chemistry PhD student has succeeded in creating a vaccine whose efficiency would not be undermined by local heat. Indeed, during the summer, most vaccines are destroyed even before they arrive at their destinations. The cause to this problem ? Often inadapted recipients.

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One solution : calcium carbonate

To come to similar conclusions, Marieh has merely observed natural reactions.Thanks to calcium carbonate, she has managed to stabilise vaccines during very hot periods. These bioparticles, which are shaped into tiny crystals, can be consumed safely and act as an shield for the vaccine. On top of protecting vaccines, calcium carbonate is also used to treat calcium deficiencies.

Good news doesn’t stop here. Calcium carbonate particles are very cheap, which will allow this new technique to spread rapidly. What is more, Marieh Al Handawi thinks it is possible to reduce the cold chain used to transport vaccin to diminish even more vaccination costs.


Published on 4 October 2018