Friday, September 25, 2015

$25 Ebola Test: Science Win for 16 year old

Olivia Hallisey.16 yrs, from Greenwich Connecticut won the Google Science Fair. Her invention: a test for Ebola in 30 mins,  even in patients not displaying symptoms . The test cost just $25 and does not need refrigeration.  Previous tests took up to 12 hours and cost a few thousand dollars.

Other finalists for the fair included Pranav Sivakumar, 15, from Aurora, Illinois, who devised an automated method for discovering and analyzing gravitationally-lensed quasars; 14-year-old Krtin Nithiyanandam from Surrey, England, who designed a test for detecting Alzheimer's in its early stages (there was also another test by Anika Cheerala, 13 USA) ; Lalita Prasida Sripada Srisai, 13, from India, who found a way to make waste water clean by filtering it through corn cobs; and a French 14-year-old, Eliott Sarrey, who built a robot capable of tending to gardens.

For Sri Lanka, Lalita Srisai's project of cleaning waste water using Corn Cobs is probably very useful.  Very, very cool.  Plenty of corn cob (බඩ ඉරිඟු) in SL.

Adriel Sumathipla, 16 USA (sounds like he is of Sri Lankan descent) was a global finalist with his  Multi-Biomarker Diagnostic for Cardiac Disease:Rapid. Portable. Ultra-Low Cost.

Note: South Asians seem over represented among finalists and specially the winners.


  1. In the US, Asian Americans are generally over represented in most fields involving Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics. This has been linked to the work ethic and discipline inculcated in the youngsters by their immigrant Asian parents who highly value education and are not easily intimidated by these subjects. However, it might be a different story in 15-20 years for the grand children of these Asian immigrants as they assimilate and adopt the cultural norms.

  2. In a later post noted that South Asians were under represented in the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI).
    Weird, because of the stereotype of South Asians being computer jocks.
    International Olympiad in Informatics: Sri Lanka has 26 medalists (India 39)