Jefferson senior an Intel finalist for Lyme disease research

A Virginia high school student is one of the 40 finalists in the Intel Science Talent Search contest for her research paper on early detection of Lyme disease using urine samples rather than blood samples and applying Hydrogel Nanoparticles. 

It’s not surprising that it took an out-of-the-box thinker to come up with what appears to be a more effective Lyme test which can test for Lyme prior to antibodies actually showing up in the blood stream.  It would be interesting to know if any Lyme symptoms outside of the rash are actually evident at this stage.

In any event, I wish her the greatest success in her endeavor.

Excerpted from The Washington Post ( Posted: 2/04/2010 )

A high school senior’s research paper on Lyme disease is getting national recognition for proposing a method of early detection that cuts diagnosis time from a month to mere minutes.

“We’re going to develop a new diagnostic test so that we can detect it earlier and more accurately,” said Temple Douglas, 18, of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria.

Douglas was recently named one of 40 finalists nationwide in the Intel Science Talent Search, an annual contest sponsored by Intel that scouts for research conducted by high school seniors in science, health and technology.

She received a $5,000 scholarship for the ranking, a laptop and a chance to compete in March in Washington for a $100,000 scholarship.

Douglas said her research was inspired by three relatives’ struggles with Lyme disease.

“My sister and brother had joint pain, but my mom had more severe symptoms,” she said.

Almost half the cases of Lyme disease in Virginia are reported in Loudoun County, where Douglas lives. A resident of Lucketts, she buses 90 minutes to her Fairfax County school each day.

Students at Thomas Jefferson must do a senior research paper. Douglas chose Lyme disease for hers.

“At the end of the summer, I was thinking of the testing and its inaccuracies and what could be improved,” she said.

Currently, blood tests are used to detect Lyme disease.

“Now, you have to wait for antibodies to show up [in your blood]. That can take up to three weeks,” Douglas said.

Her research paper, “The Application of Hydrogel Nanoparticles for Early Lyme Disease Diagnosis,” proposes using a urine test instead.

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~ by Rob on February 5, 2010.

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