Rubén Morones Rubén Morones found a way of combining silver salts with antibiotics to improve their efficiency.

Mexicans under 35 awarded for their innovative talent

A process that improves the effectiveness of antibiotics and a system for monitoring pregnancies in rural areas have won awards for two Mexicans.

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The MIT Technology Review presented Innovators Under 35 prizes to Rubén Morones, 33, of the Autonomous University of Nuevo León (UANL) and Fernando Rojas Estrada, 32, of the Carlos Slim Health Institute, in the category social innovation.

Morones was recognized for developing a process that combines antiobiotics with silver salts to improve treatment against infection. Silver allows the antibiotics to penetrate bacteria cells more easily and treat the infection.

“Silver can be seen as the Trojan horse or vehicle that opens the door to antibiotics to enter the cell and cause further damage,” says Morones. “It’s as if we have had a ‘super’ antibiotic cocktail behind a first aid kit where the key is made of silver.”

The discovery is important because microbes have been developing a resistance to common medications.

Rojas received the award for AmaneceNET, a system that permits distance monitoring of women during pregnancy. It is an application that runs on an Android tablet with which workers in the field can enter medical information.

That information is analyzed and what results is an evaluation of the woman’s condition and any possible risk that might exist. On average, 960 women die in Mexico every year during pregnancy.

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Rojas was featured in a story on MND on June 22.

There were 10 finalists in the Innovators Under 35 program, held this year for the third time. The other eight were:

  • Alejandro Cantú — developed a seismic satellite warning system that can measure the intensity of earthquakes.
  • Blanca Lorena Villareal — created a robotic nose that can detect and locate the source of a smell.
  • Caleb Rascón — created a robotic system that can detect and locate sound sources.
  • Daniel Jacobo — developed an alternative system of modification to convert vegetable waste into bioactive compounds.
  • Guillermo Ulises Ruiz — designed a strategy for improving the delivery of therapeutic molecules for cardiac deficiency.
  • Josué Gio — designed an application that allows travellers to book accommodation at the last minute.
  • Juan Leonardo Martínez — created an app to read quickly and precisely analyses made by colorimetry.
  • Scott Mungula — designed technology for the production of bioplastics with avocado seeds.

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