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High school student Nicole Ticea developed an early-stage HIV test

May 13, 2014

Let's see, wake up, go to school,  go to track practice and develop an early stage HIV test.  Typical day.  


A 15-year-old high school student got a head start on her scientific career by developing an early-stage HIV infection test.


Simon Fraser University (SFU) said the test designed by Nicole Ticea is "nearly as simple as a pregnancy test" and could be invaluable in remote parts of the world, particularly Africa.


The development earned Ticea, a student at York House independent school, first place in the BC Regional Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC).


Ticea was matched up with SFU researchers after submitting her idea to the SBCC after conceiving it last summer.


The test she developed could potentially analyze a drop of blood to quickly determine if a person is infected with HIV.


She worked on the development on top of her regular schoolwork.


While rapid testing for HIV -- which causes AIDS -- already exists, Nicole and her team say the test could be particularly useful in areas that lack good medical care.


"Nicole’s work really made me realize what a big difference a fast easy-to-administer test for early-stage HIV infection could make in prolonging, if not saving, thousands of lives in developing countries," graduate student Gursev Anmole, who assisted Nicole in her research, said in a written statement.


Next, the teen's test will be considered in the national final of Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada on May 22. Two national winners will then continue to the international leg of the competition in June.

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