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US: 3 Indian-origin Teenagers bag $100K in Siemens Science Competition 2016

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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.

by NewsGram team with PTI inputs

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google sacks dozens over sexual harassment. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?