Counting (lots of) nematodes
One of the perks of developing a new technology is watching the positive impact that it makes.
At Curiosity Labs we developed an automated microscope that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to assist soil laboratory technicians with nematode detection. Annually, in the US alone, billions of dollars are lost due to crop yield reduction caused by nematode infections.
New varieties of nematode resistant seeds as well as nematicides are developed every year. Certain government labs are tasked with evaluating the efficiency of these new products, and reporting that information to the farming community.
One of our customers in Iowa is responsible for testing new soybean cyst nematode (SCN) resistant seeds and nematicides. Last month, they published their findings in Iowa Farmer Daily (see the magazine cover of the article). In order to generate this report, the lab had to process close to 4,000 soil samples in the span of just few weeks (which is very much a monumental task that they do every single year). This year, one thing was different – they had access to our automated microscope which made the task significantly easier.
Last week I checked in with the lab, and their staff shared a copy of Iowa Farmer Today with our team at Curiosity Labs. It felt good to know that our work has already made an impact on Iowa’s economy.
One of our goals for Curiosity Labs in 2021 is to make an impact beyond Iowa. We are now collaborating with USDA, and several universities from southern states to adapt our microscope for root knot nematode detection. This parasitic infection is prevalent in warmer states, and it impacts crops such as cotton, as well as various fruits and vegetables, in addition to soybeans.
If you know anyone who can benefit from our technology – send them to our website at www.SoilCuriosity.com Denis Tamiev.
President and Founder of Curiosity Labs.