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VenomAid co-develops snakebite-centered science education course for danish high schools

Copenhagen, November 29th – The LIFE Foundation launches ‘FIGHT THE BITE’ – a free educational science course for Danish high school students, focused on snakebite envenoming and diagnosis. As one of the project partners, VenomAid Diagnostics ApS is proud to have contributed with expert knowledge and design of the course. FIGHT THE BITE has already been pre-booked by more than 130 classes, reaching more than 3,000 students throughout Denmark during the coming year.

More than 1 billion people worldwide are affected by neglected tropical diseases, and one of these diseases is snakebite envenomation. Every year, a staggering 2.7 million people are envenomed by snakes, and around 100,000 of them die as a result. This particularly affects people in poor rural areas of the tropics with limited access to healthcare.

Although snakebite envenoming is a global societal challenge that primarily occurs far away from Denmark, it is now becoming very real for Danish high school students. In the LIFE Foundation's new educational course, FIGHT THE BITE, students from across the country will investigate and evaluate methods for diagnosing and treating snakebite envenoming.




Ditte Linde Thomsen, Head of Projects at the LIFE Foundation, “We are pleased to have worked together with VenomAid and DTU Bioengineering in creating Fight the Bite. Through this course high schools in all of Denmark are given the possibility to work hands-on with a serious societal challenge, using methods inspired by scientists. We hope this will contribute to getting more young people engaged in natural science, for example by studying or working professionally within STEM.”  

FIGHT THE BITE has been created by the LIFE Foundation, with both DTU Bioengineering (specifically the Center for Antibody Technologies) and VenomAid Diagnostics being project partners, contributing with expertise within snakebite envenoming, toxinology, antibody technology, and diagnostics. In FIGHT THE BITE, students will examine the effects of various (chemically simulated) snake venoms on blood and conduct a biotechnological test (called 'ELISA’) to determine whether and how antibodies can be used to identify which snake species a given venom comes from, and thereby diagnose a simulated snakebite envenoming case.

Cecilie Knudsen, co-founder and CSO of VenomAid, “In VenomAid, we've always made an effort to share our passion for applied science, spread awareness about the highly neglected disease that is snakebite envenoming, and inspire students to pursue careers in STEM. That's why we’re so thrilled about this collaboration with the LIFE foundation, as it allows us to inspire many more students and contribute to the education of the next generation of scientists and engineers in a way we could never have achieved on our own.” 

About VenomAid Diagnostics www.venomaid.com 

VenomAid Diagnostics is a Nordic medtech startup innovating toxin diagnostics, mainly within animal envenomings. VenomAid has recently established state-of-the-art facilities in Denmark and built know-how within different antibody technologies and Lateral Flow Assay development. VenomAid’s current flagship project is the Bothrops kit – a diagnostic device for the Brazilian and Latin American market that can detect envenomings from Lancehead snakes and thereby guide the selection of appropriate antivenom to treat patients.

 

About Technical University of Denmark www.dtu.dk 

The Technical University of Denmark (abbr. DTU) is recognized internationally as a leading university in the areas of technical and natural sciences, renowned for their business-oriented approach, focus on sustainability and study environment. DTU was founded in 1829, and is now ranked as one of the foremost technical universities in Europe, continuing to set new records in the number of publications, and developing partnerships with industry, and assignments accomplished by DTU’s scientific advice.

About LIFE Foundation www.life.dk 

The LIFE Foundation is a Danish non-profit foundation with corporate interests. The foundation’s purpose is to strengthen scientific learning, education and research as well as promoting motivation among children and adolescents to engage themselves in natural science. The LIFE Foundation develops and offers enquiry-based science education courses free of charge for schools across all of Denmark. In a LIFE teaching course, the school class works hands-on with real-life cases that are developed together with businesses and research institutions. The LIFE Foundation is supported by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

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