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UAE-Born Scientist Show How Satellites Can Monitor Spread of Viruses by Animals

The UAE's foray into the cosmic race has already opened doors for endless innovation. Satellites monitor everything from security to air pollution and could soon provide uninterrupted internet connectivity for tech-savvy Emirati cities.

UAE-Born Scientist Show How Satellites Can Monitor Spread of Viruses by Animals

Visions for a Mars colony are inspiring architects and scientists to collaborate on desert simulations. At the same time, domes are also being considered for growing crops in space to boost agriculture in Earth's harsh climates. Initially developed products such as

Technology developed for space to be used in everyday life is nothing new. It initially developed products such as baby food, cochlear implants and even infrared thermometers for astronauts. But as the use of innovation to combat the current pandemic and future outbreaks takes centre stage worldwide, a scientist from the United Arab Emirates has listed cosmic gadgets that will prove helpful in protecting the planet from viruses.

Born in the United Arab Emirates, Dr Farhan Asrar and his team in Canada have figured out how to use satellite imagery to detect viruses spread by animals in different parts of the world. This is crucial as COVID-19 is believed to be a zoonotic virus that may have been transmitted to humans by bats and pangolins or other animals in wet markets.

It would not be the first time satellites have watched over humanity, as the eye in the sky has already been used effectively to predict risks in densely populated areas and monitor infections during Africa's Ebola outbreak. Beyond satellites, temporary laboratories in regions with extreme weather conditions can be an essential tool to contain epidemics in remote areas and conduct research during a pandemic.

Given the demand for wearables to monitor personal health during the pandemic, a waistcoat for astronauts equipped with sensors that monitor vital signs around the clock is being touted by scientists as a solution to protect against infection. The biomonitor can be a no-frills device that regularly sends information about the health status of infected patients in quarantine, supporting telemedicine.

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