Microsoft Looks To Get Into the Parasite Business

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Microsoft resellers may be in for a surprise, with the big software Company looking to move into selling parasites to treat diseases as opposed to trying to take on Apple and Google.

A new patent application lodged by Microsoft titled “Adapting Parasites to Combat Disease,” goes on to describe the application as “systems and/or methods that facilitate sensing, detecting, logging, or treatment of a condition or need of a living body using a controlled parasite.”

At this stage Microsoft is not commenting, but with plunging market share in Smartphones, browsers and operating systems the Company could well be heading in a new direction in an effort to make a buck.

Filed in July and made public this month, the patent application appears to be more science fiction than IT.

What the software Company is proposing is a system “that facilitates exploiting a parasitic organism as a nanomachine for benefit of a living body.”

Tech Flash who are fairly close to Microsoft claims that Microsoft researchers believe that electronics can be adapted to exploit novel methods of monitoring body functions and delivering useful substances to the body, including treatment of malaria and monitoring and/or treating other bodily conditions. By modifying or making a parasitic organism that can be programmatically controlled by a stimulus external to the altered parasitic organism, the parasitic organism can be a powerful tool in delivering therapeutic compounds.

(T)he altered parasitic organism is one species selected from the group comprising: mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, bed bugs (Cimicidae Cimex lectularius), midges (such as Ceratopogonidae), other blood sucking arthropods, annelids or leeches, nematodes such as Ascaris lumbricoides (roundworm which typically invades the gastrointestinal tract and lungs), pinworms such as Enterobius vermicularis (gastrointestinal tract, colon, fingertips), whipworms such as Trichuris trichiuria (gastrointestinal tract), flukes or trematodes such as Fasciola hepatica, Fasciolopsis buski (intestinal fluke) and schistosomes (liver and gallbladder), tapeworms or cestodes such as those from the genus Taenia (gastrointestinal tract), hookworms, heart worms, roundworms, lice (head, body, and pubic), and the like.

In order to control the population of altered parasites (to avoid runaway breeding that can allow altered parasites to revert to their purely parasitic action), an activation and/or termination function for the altered parasite can be included. The altered parasites can be designed to mitigate harmful effects traditionally associated with the parasite (such as a mosquito capable of destroying or disabling malarial parasites therein), in order to deliver only the payloads desired. For example, a termination feature can include programmed death or reduced viability, unless a compound is delivered to the altered parasites (for example, a mosquito must ingest a certain compound every time period in order to remain alive or to reproduce). Furthermore, a termination signal can be sent by the interface component to cause death of the altered parasite, or the altered parasite can send the termination signal just before death to inform the operation component that the altered parasite is ceasing to operate.

What’s not known is whether the new parasite option will be built into Windows 8 or the next version of Explorer, let’s wait and see.

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