The project Smell Triggers addresses current scientific research on the genetic modification of mosquitoes into flying syringes, speculating a new healthcare system based on prevention and passive diagnosis. By tapping into normal insect behaviour, it aims to question existing notions on body odour and smell, as well as our common missunderstanding of these insects.
Mosquitoes are currently being engineered to kill their offspring before these reach adulthood, to palliate the spread of diseases like malaria and dengue. In the age of biotechnology, studies are being conducted into the olfactory capabilities of insects. Body odour is intrinsically linked to the immune system and can be used as a tool to diagnose disease. Considering mosquitoes as biological sensors, they can serve as translators between the information our bodies secrete chemically and our understanding of it.
How would this use of biotecnology and the focus on smell redesign our surrounding infrastructures, understanding of nature and current approach to health?
Project done with the help + guidance of:
Wagningen University and Research Center
Monell Chemical Senses Center
The Department of Clinical Psychology / Utrecht University
Urban Health Post
The urban health posts collect rain water and stagnate it whilst allowing new shrubs to grow, for an optimum GM mosquito breeding environment
Insects as sensors
Mosquitoes are attracted to the smell of lactic acid. High amounts of lactic acid in the blood, increase the acidity of the body's pH, leading to health related risks such as heart or liver failure. The BiO Health Campaign informs the general public about the use of GM Mosquitoes as sensors.
The 'Flare, Colour & Wheal' reaction
The mosquito transmits a substance into its host's blood through its saliva whilst feeding, reacting to the pH balance of the blood. The bite colours, revealing on the skin a health condition from a chemical balance / imbalance.