Rahul Subramaniam's project was called an Early Warning System for Zika Virus in Mosquito Populations Based on Real-Time Field Detection of Viral RNA in Mosquito Saliva.
For the project, Rahul created an inexpensive and consumer-friendly mosquito trap with a food-source that would change color in 30 minutes if any of the feeding mosquitoes were infected with Zika.
Rahul is the first researcher known to have detected mosquito saliva in a live trap. This enabled him to detect Zika virus in that saliva in a field trap, which can be used as the initial basis for quarantine of an area that contains Zika-infected mosquitoes, before anyone gets infected.
He received first place in the Microbiology category, a $3,000 award, and Best in Category, a $5,000 award as he competed with 1,800 students from around the world at the fair.
In addition, Rahul was one of the Best in Category winners who received a Grand Award. He won the Intel Indo-US Science & Technology Visit to India Award, a two-week, all-expense paid trip to India to attend a science and technology immersion program.
The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. Each year, 1,800 high school students from more than 75 countries, regions, and territories are awarded the opportunity to showcase their independent research and compete for $4 million in prizes.
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