Talented 17-year-old girl takes home top prize at Google Science Fair after creating breast cancer diagnosis app that is 'hospital-ready'
22:40 GMT, 25 July 2012
A 17-year-old girl has won the Google Science Fair grand prize after creating an iPhone app that helps doctors diagnose breast cancer.
Brittany Wenger, from Florida, combined the fields of biology and computer science to a develop a computer program called a 'neural network,' which mimics the human brain.
Detecting complex patterns to make diagnostic calls on breast cancer, her program correctly identifies 99per cent of malignant
tumors, which won her a $50,000 college scholarship from Google.
Google grand winner: Brittany Wenger developed a computer program called a 'neural network,' which correctly identifies 99per cent of malignant tumors
Miss Wenger told WWSB: 'I think it might be hospital ready. I'd love to get different data from doctors. Right now, I
have 700 test samples.'
Chosen from among 30 international finalists, five teenage winners of the second annual Google Science Fair were announced on Monday.
They were treated, as well as the runners-up, to a gala
held in an airplane hanger near the company's Palo Alto headquarters in
Prizes include a college scholarships
from Google for $25,000 or $50,000, trips to scientific hotspots like
CERN and Fermilab, and trophies made out of Lego
Hospital-ready: The 17-year-old combined the fields of biology and computer science, developing a computer program which diagnoses breast cancer tumors
Winning app: Detecting complex patterns to make diagnostic calls on breast cancer, her program won her the grand prize and a $50,000 college scholarship
An eight grader from San Diegan, won the 13- to 14-year-old category, after he showed that the experience of music could be improved for the hard-of-hearing through tactile sound.
Jonah Kohn said in a YouTube video: 'Last year, when I wanted to play guitar with one of my
friends, I realized it was much too loud in the classroom to hear the
'But if you put your teeth on the
top of the guitar, then you can hear it no matter how loud it is around
Filtering songs down to different
frequency ranges and applying those vibrations to different parts of the
body, like fingertips, Mr Kohn proved that the listening experience of
people with cochlear implants could be improved by 95per cent, based on
tests from 12 individuals with hearing loss.
Jonah kohn: The eight grader from San Diegan won the 13- to 14-year-old category, after he showed that the experience of music could be improved for the hard-of-hearing through tactile sound
Mighty trio: Ivan Hervias Rodriguez, Marcos Ochoa and Sergio Pascual won the 15-16-year-old category, documenting nasty germs living in Spain's fresh water
He told KPBS: 'I thought it was a very inspiring idea. I thought it could help a massive amount of people.'
The winning project in the 15- to
16-year-old category, went to a trio of young scientists form Logroo, Spain, who
documented the microbes and nasty germs living in the fresh water in the country's north east.
According to their project description, Ivan Hervias Rodriguez, Marcos Ochoa and Sergio Pascual collected hundreds of samples over more
than three years, documenting the presence of microbes found in over 60 fresh water sites, and
establishing fresh water quality for the entire valley of the Ebro
Vint Cerf, Google's chief Internet
evangelist, told Scientific American: 'They went back to a very ancient
tradition in natural sciences, which is sampling the real world,
cataloguing what you find, and then analyzing it to try to interpret
what the implications are.'