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Teenager's anti-flu medicine project wins Google Science Fair

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An alert for drivers when emergency vehicles appear, a flashlight, and a way to combat flu pandemics have won first places in Google's 2013 Science Fair.

On Monday, Google announced the winners of the 2013 Google Science Fair. The competition is designed for students around the world to bring to the table an idea "that will change the world." This year, the fair's finalists represented eight different countries as they attended the competition at the search engine giant's headquarters in Mountain View, California.

The judges, shown ideas ranging from a metallic exoskeleton glove that assists, supports and enhances the movement of the human palm to a multi-step system created for early diagnosis of melanoma cancers -- all designed by students -- chose three winners.

In the 13-14 age category, Viney Kumar from Australia won the prize for his PART (Police and Ambulances Regulating Traffic) Program. The project explored new ways for drivers to be given notice when an emergency vehicle is approaching.

In the 15-16 age category, Ann Makosinski from Canada won due to her "Hollow Flashlight" invention. The flashlight uses Peltier tiles and the temperature difference between the palm of the hand and ambient air to provide bright light without batteries or moving parts.

In the 17-18 age category and named as the overall prize winner, Eric Chen from the U.S. and his computer-aided discovery of novel influenza endonuclease inhibitors to combat flu pandemics system wowed the judges. By combining computer modeling and biological studies, the project looks at influenza endonuclease inhibitors as leads for a new type of anti-flu medicine, effective against all influenza viruses including pandemic strains.

Each winner will receive prizes from Google, CERN, LEGO, National Geographic and Scientific American.

Via: Official Google Blog

Image credit: Google

— By on September 23, 2013, 9:19 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure