Dublin student’s parasite testing kit meets wide acclaim

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With Tástáil, farmers wait just a few minutes for results, instead of days

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28 May 2019 | 0

Students from Technological University Dublin (TU) have received wide acclaim for their portable animal parasite testing kit, Tástáil.

Farmers can now test animals on the spot, and receive results in minutes, instead of days. It also significantly cuts down on unnecessary administration of antibiotics.

The team has enjoyed a series of wins with Tástáil. They won the Bolton Trust Student Enterprise Competition, the NIBS Worldwide Business Plan Competition and made it to the final round of Enterprise Ireland’s Student Entrepreneur Awards.

Tástáil was designed by third-year product design students and co-founders of Mircon Agritech, Tara McElligott, Sean Smith, Jose Lopez, and Daniel Izquierdo, who wanted to improve the way animals are tested for parasites.

Under the current system, farmers often give antimicrobial medication preventatively to avoid waiting days for a vet to test samples. As such “80% of all antimicrobial medication produced globally is used in the agriculture industry. Practices such as these are leading to increased antimicrobial resistance, which could kill 10 million people a year by 2050,” Daniel Izquierdo, Micron Agritech’s chief marketing officer, said.

“Farmers do this to protect the rest of the herd, but with Tástáil, they will know whether their animals are healthy or not immediately, saving them time, and money on veterinary bills and medication,” Izquierdo explained.

The innovation uses technology based on machine learning algorithms developed by the TU School of Computer Science.

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