As Scientists thrive to discover treatment and prevention methods for combating Ebola, a 16-year-old girl outweigh them by discovering the world's fastest method for detecting Ebola.
Oliva Hallisey developed the test at a cost of just $25 at Greenwich High School. The test kit detects the Ebola antigens and gives results within 30 minutes. This is 24 times faster than the currently available tests, and can be conducted even on those that show no symptoms.
"Current Ebola detection methods are complex, expensive, require unbroken refrigeration from manufacture to use and up to 12 hours from testing to confirmed diagnosis. The test provides rapid, inexpensive, accurate detection of Ebola viral antigens based on color change within 30 minutes in individuals prior to their becoming symptomatic and infectious," said Hallisey.
Although the test utilizes similar chemicals and antibodies as standard Ebola tests, what differentiates it from them is the use of silk fibers to stabilize the chemicals on card stock and allow them remain effective at room temperature for longer periods of time, eliminating the need for refrigeration.
The Google Science Fair is held to attract young scientists and inventors from around the world between the ages of 13 and 18. Hallisey won the grand prize of $50,000 in scholarship funding from Google, beating out the other 22 finalists.