Power Lunch

Power Lunch

17 year old girl sweeps Google's annual science competition

2015 Google Science Fair Grand prize winner Olivia Hallisey, 17, from Connecticut, created a portable, inexpensive diagnostic test for Ebola that doesn't require refrigeration.
Source: Google

Olivia Hallisey, a 17 year old girl who designed a low cost, portable test for Ebola, is the grand prize winner of the 2015 Google Science Fair.

Hallisey's diagnostic for the Ebola virus offers results in less than 30 minutes and allows for rapid detection even when patients lack any symptoms.

The design includes a silk-containing card that stores Ebola antibodies for up to a week without refrigeration.

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Hallisey, a 17 year old junior at Greenwich High School in Connecticut, told CNBC's "Power Lunch" Tuesday more about her methodology.

"Up to 90 percent of victims will die without early diagnosis and medical intervention. Current detection methods are expensive, time-consuming and utilize complex instrumentation and chemicals that require uninterrupted refrigeration. My device will allow for shipment and storage without refrigeration, and provide detection of the Ebola viral antigens based on color change in as little as 30 minutes."

Google Science Fair's grand prize winner
Google Science Fair's grand prize winner

Hallisey thought up the idea last Fall after reading articles about the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

"I knew I wanted a simple and stable solution to a complex problem like infectious diseases," said Hallisey. "So I started looking into ways on how to limit the spread of this deadly disease."

What advice would Hallisey give to young girls who want to pursue the scientific field or learn computing skills?

"I would just encourage girls just to try it in the beginning, remind them that they don't have to feel naturally drawn or feel like they have a special talent for math or science, but just really just look at something they are interested in and then think how to improve something or make it more enjoyable or relate it to their interests."

Hallisey, who won a $50,000 education scholarship from Google, plans to enter college and eventually work for a global health group, such as Doctors Without Borders.

"I want to look everywhere, go anywhere to help people, I'm really excited about the future."

Learn more about Olivia's research here http://bit.ly/1QDosjI