News and Success Stories

Published 14 September 2023

Sniffing out disease

New Zealand company Scentian Bio is developing a world-leading device to - literally - sniff out disease using the protein receptors found in insects’ noses. Late last year, they were awarded USD$1.7M by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to specifically develop a device to detect tuberculosis in the developing nations where it’s still a leading cause of death.

Chief Technology Officer Dr Andrew Králíček spent almost 20 years researching insect nose receptors at Plant & Food before launching the company. He says there are many more applications for their technology, including in the food safety sector.

Scentian Bio is one of a number of companies mimicking and amplifying nature for human benefit. Where else might scientists look in nature to solve complex human problems? Could businesses like Scentian Bio signal a new shift to working with nature, rather than against it?