Tech Insider- Oliva Hallisey, a 16-year-old from the United States, won the 2015 Google Science Fair with her project to develop a fast, cheap, and stable test for the Ebola virus, which she says gives easy-to-read results in less than 30 minutes — potentially before someone is even showing 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.
The problem with many current Ebola tests are many, Hallisey wrote in her science fair description:
Current methods of Ebola detection utilize enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay ("ELISA") detection kits which cost approximately $1,000 each, require complex instrumentation, trained medical professionals to administer, and up to 12 hours from testing to diagnosis.
While Hallisey wasn't able to test her invention on real Ebola patients or virus, she showed it could detect a protein from the virus.
The test uses the typical components of an Ebola test, which is made up of antibodies (the tags that our immune system uses to mark viruses and bacteria as invaders) and chemicals that cause the test to change colors if these antibodies bind to Ebola proteins in the sample.
The big innovation: To make the test stable, Hallisey used silk fibers to stabilize the chemicals on card stock, allowing them to sit around at room temperature for up to 3 weeks and still be effective. No refrigeration required, unlike with current Ebola tests.
Damn Google, I thought you were better than this. I thought you had higher standards for your science fair winners than something that detects Ebola. I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Here in the United States, we just call that a thermometer, because Ebola is no more than the common cold. Do we really need silk fibers and stabilized chemicals to identify when someone has a runny nose and a cough? Maybe to those in Africa that aren't privy to Western medicine this would be big deal, but Ebola's treacherous reign in North America lasted about as long as the last Sarah McLachlan commercial. Even if this invention is legitimate, it's completely antiquated unless she decides to take a transcontinental trip. If she was looking for an invention to help her fellow Americans than this Ebola detector is about as useful as a model solar system. Thanks, but no thanks Hailey, we have bigger fish to fry than worrying about some disease that lasted about a week before America bullied it out of existence.
By the way, when did we start giving people the benefit of the doubt in this country? This girl won a prestigious science fair for inventing an Ebola detector that has not once detected Ebola? That's like constructing a volcano that doesn't erupt or a light bulb that doesn't light. I should have shown up with my cure for AIDS, who are the judges to say it's just a relabeled bottle of Advil? Don't give me that "it could detect a protein" nonsense. I could a get a good look at some protein by sticking my head up a bull's ass and it doesn't even have to be my bull. I'l tell you this much, when there is $50,000 in scholarship funding at stake I am not going to take a 16 year old girl's word for it. If Ebola were such a problem that we needed someone to invent a detector for it then why couldn't we find one single patient to come in and test it out? I'm not saying this girl isn't smart. I'm not even saying she isn't deserving of her prize. Anyone that tricks the geniuses at Google out of $50,000 dollars with a machine that hasn't even proven capable of doing it's desired function should get a semester or two of college for free. Just don't try to sell me on the importance of this invention when it literally couldn't possibly do anything to help me or the citizens of the United States of America.