16-year-old girl wins Google Science Fair with a cheaper and faster Ebola test

Olivia Hallisey, a 16-year-old student at Greenwich High School, Connecticut (USA) was awarded $50,000 in scholarship funding at the 2015 Google Science Fair. Hallisey developed a test that detects the Ebola virus more quickly and economically than the existing exams created by the pharmaceutical industry.

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[Image source: Google Hangout]

Due to the virus outbreak last year, which began in Africa and spread to Europe and the United States, a test was developed that revealed the result within 24 hours. This current method, however, requires a specialized medical team, costs thousands of dollars and needs to be kept refrigerated from manufacture to use; these conditions were quite unfeasible for poor or developing countries. But the test created by Hallisey can be stored at room temperature for up to three weeks, reveals the results in just 30 minutes – potentially before someone is even showing symptoms – and costs only $25.

“Nothing exists in isolation,” the young student explains. “What affects one country affects everyone. We have to work together to find answers to the enormous challenges that threaten global health, our environment and our world.”

The video below explains how the test works: