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GHS student’s Zika detection project rakes in $50,000

GREENWICH — Working with mosquitoes gave Rahul Subramaniam itchy wrists in icy weather. But his final result, a trap that detects mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus, was worth every bite: It recently won him $50,000 in scholarship money.

“Finding live mosquitoes in the middle of winter in Connecticut was not easy at all,” the Greenwich High School senior said of his sophomore-year research project, which he largely developed in teacher Andrew Bramante’s honors science research classroom. “I seriously considered buying them online and releasing them in my garage.”

Detecting Zika in the wild is difficult, and current methods require special equipment that at-risk communities do not have. By contrast, Subramaniam’s trap is inexpensive to build and requires neither human intervention nor advanced equipment, making it ideal for remote locations and disadvantaged regions.

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