Obama praises work of young Indian-American teen scientists

PTI Washington | Updated on March 24, 2015 Published on March 24, 2015

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US President Barack Obama has praised the work of budding Indian-American teenage scientists who showcased their innovative exhibits, including an algorithm to identify potential drugs for cancer, ebola and tuberculosis.

Anvita Gupta, 17, of Scottsdale, Arizona, winner of Third Place Medal of Distinction for Global Good, was one of the participants of the fifth White House Science Fair which was attended by several other Indian-origin teenagers.

When Gupta explained how she had used an algorithm to help identify possible new drugs to treat Ebola, cancer and tuberculosis, Obama turned to the press, grinned and said, “I don’t know what you all have been doing. But this is what she has been doing“.

“It is unbelievable what so many of these young people have accomplished at such an early age,” Obama said after his personal interaction and viewing of some of the exhibits on display.

This year’s White House Science Fair has a specific focus on diversity and includes more than 100 students from 30 states, representing more than 40 science competitions and organisations.

Thirty-five student teams exhibited their projects.

Obama personally viewed 12 of these exhibits.

Another Indian-American Trisha Prabhu showcased her computer programme ‘Rethink’ that alerts users when an outgoing message contains language that is potentially abusive and hurtful.

Ninth-grader Sahil Doshi exhibited the design of his innovative carbon-dioxide powered battery called PolluCell.

Nikhil Behari from Pennsylvania showcased the easy-to-use security system developed by him which is versatile and effective in protecting online data.

Ruchi Pandya from San Jose exhibited the one-square centimetre carbon nanofibre electrode-based biosensor that has the potential to improve cardiac health diagnostics for patients around the world.

Published on March 24, 2015
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