Condom technology: Sheathing Cupid’s arrow
February 17, 2014 Editor 0
THEY have been made of tortoiseshell and horn. They have been made of the finest silk and the coarsest leather. They have been made of pigs’ bladders and sheep’s intestines. They have been made of rubber (natural and synthetic). They have been made of plastic. But none of these has quite fitted the bill. Condoms, though 15 billion are manufactured each year, and 750m couples use them, are not, when push comes to shove, that popular. In truth, they are awkward passion-killers that have a disturbing tendency to pop off at inconvenient moments.Build a better condom, then, and maybe the world will beat a path to your door. That, anyway, is what a select band of researchers in laboratories around the world hope will happen. So does Bill Gates, whose foundation is backing some of these efforts with grants of $100,000 apiece as seed money, and the promise of up to $1m more if the initial experimentation comes good.Mr Gates’s foundation, the biggest non-governmental source of cash for global health, is interested in condoms for the same reasons most users are. Not only do they prevent unwanted pregnancies, they also stop the transmission of venereal infections—…
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Categories: The Economist
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