Diagnosing a brain tumor sounds like a daunting task better left to the professionals. But for sixteen-year-old scientist Elle Loughran, it simply sounds like an opportunity for invention.
Photo: Intellectual Ventures' Steve Winter presents young scientist Elle Loughran with the IV Insightful Invention Award at the 2015 BTYSTE
Elle developed a graphene-based biosensor to measure attractin, a protein biomarker for certain types of brain tumors, and presented her invention earlier this month at this year’s BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) in Dublin.
“If you have elevated levels of the attractin protein in your cerebrospinal fluid, it indicates a glioma which is a type of brain tumour,” she explained. “So I wanted to make a sensor that can detect attractin.”
Elle's invention earned her the IV Insightful Invention Award for demonstrated insight in identifying a meaningful problem and proposing an innovative, technically viable solution.
This was the second year in a row that Intellectual Ventures sponsored a special prize at BTYSTE, which brings together future scientists, engineers, and inventors from across Ireland. Last year, we honored two brothers who created an invention that determines how icy roads are by looking at the reflectors on road markers.
As a longtime supporter of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, we were pleased to help the BTYSTE in its mission to cultivate and nurture the talent of our future scientists and engineers. Several of our Dublin-based employees were at the event, introducing hundreds of students to inventive career possibilities by showcasing some of the new technologies IV and our partners are developing.
Congratulations to Elle and all of the BTYSTE finalists. With more than 1,100 students participating in this year’s exhibition alone, we're confident that the future will be full of bright, motivated inventors.
For more on Elle’s and other young scientist’s projects, check out coverage of the exhibition in the Silicon Republic.