December 11, 2016: Three teenagers of Indian-origin, including identical twin sisters, in the US bagged a scholarship worth USD 100,000 in a science competition. It is for their innovative research that will help doctors diagnose serious health problems like schizophrenia.
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The Siemens Competition 2016 awards were presented at the George Washington University in Washington, DC.
According to PTI, “Shriya and Adhya Beesam, 16, who are 11th grade students in Plano, Texas won the competition in the 17th annual Siemens Math, Science and Technology Competition on Tuesday for their project entitled, ‘Linked Neuro-Fuzzy Inference System: A Novel Approach to Schizophrenia Diagnosis’.”
A senior at Oregon Episcopal School, Vineet Edupuganti, won the top individual award as he developed an ingestible battery that could transform the whole way diagnosing and monitoring health problems that are deep in the body.
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The judges of the contest well-appreciated, Edupuganti’s invented ingestible battery, which he calls it a “high-performance biodegradable battery for transient electronics.”
David Etzwiler, CEO of the Siemens Foundation said,”These scholars are poised to transform the lives of millions around the globe…I cannot wait to see where their dedication and innovative thinking will lead them and the rest of us as well.”
The WFAA reported that the twins, in their research developed a new way to diagnose schizophrenia earlier in patients by using both brain scans and psychiatric evaluations.
The twins lost their uncle to schizophrenia and their uncle was misdiagnosed for several years, he was much later being diagnosed as schizophrenic. The twins believe due to late diagnosis and delay of care resulted in his suicide.
“People diagnosed with schizophrenia are fifty percent more likely to commit or attempt suicide,” Shriya said.
The loss of their uncle served as a motivation for their research and work.
“It was amazing after we won when a mother came up to me and thanked us for our work because her son has schizophrenia and she’s happy to see people talking about the disease,” Adhya said.
The USD 100,000 will go towards the college education of the sisters.
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According to PTI, “In the individual category scholarship awards, high-school final year students Manan Shah of Los Altos, California, received USD 50,000; Prateek Kalakuntla from Plano, Texas, got USD 30,000, and Pranav Sivakumar, of Tower Lakes, Illinois, won USD 20,000.”
A high school final year student Nikhil Cheerla and Anika Cheerla, a tenth grade student, from Cupertino in California shared the scholarship team prize of USD 50,000.
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