Award-winning Alabama inventor dies on Thanksgiving

Courtesy of AL.com

Courtesy of AL.com

Huntsville, Al. – 65-year-old inventor Larry Fullerton has died after battling brain cancer for nearly a year, AL.com reports.

The award-winning inventor from New Hope, Alabama passed away on Thanksgiving. Dubbed as the “Edison of the 21st Century,” Fullerton held more than 500 patents and was working on an invention to help identify mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus.

“It was a detector that could look at the wing bats to tell you if the mosquito coming at you had Zika,” said Liz Shepherd, a Madison resident. The Zika virus, which causes birth defects in pregnant women, has affected over 4,000 people according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most reported cases in the United States are travel-associated.

Since Fullerton was diagnosed in January of this year, he completed an invention which will also be helpful to many women: a device to assist in the early detection of breast cancer.

Fullerton is most well-known for his work on magnets and his contributions to wireless technology. He has won several awards, including the 2010 Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award for his research leading to “programmable” magnets. Several of Fullerton’s inventions are still pending patents.