High School Student Invents Early HIV Detection Test

July 16, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. pinprick /ˈpɪnˌprɪk/ (n.) – a very small cut caused by a pin that is almost unnoticeable
Example: I had a pinprick after touching a bouquet of roses.

2. collaborate /kəˈlæb əˌreɪt/ (v.) – to team up with someone in a project
Example: Two of my professors collaborated for the new research.

3. reinforce /ˌri ɪnˈfɔrs, -ˈfoʊrs/ (v.) – to strengthen or encourage something
Example: The results of the study reinforced the belief that cancer can be avoided.

4. juggle /ˈdʒʌg əl/ (v.) – to do many things at the same time
Example: It is difficult to juggle work and studies.

5. mentor /ˈmɛn tɔr, -tər/ (n.) – a knowledgeable person helping a less experienced one
Example: My mentor has always believed in my abilities and potentials.


Read the text below.
An amazing discovery by a 15-year-old student may pave the way for faster and easier HIV testing.

Nicole Ticea, a York House high school student, developed an HIV test that could be as simple as a pregnancy test. Using an Isothermic [ahy-suh-THUR-mik] Nucleic Acid Amplification system, test takers could quickly identify whether they are infected with the virus or not by placing a pinprick of blood on a lab chip.

Ticea collaborated with Simon Fraser [FREY-zer] University graduate student Gursev Anmole and associate professor Mark Brockman.

This discovery made Ticea win first place at the British Columbia 2014 Regional Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge. As a regional representative, she will compete on a national level in Ottawa, Canada. Two winners from the national level will head for California and have a chance to win $7,500.

According to Ticea, her determination and dedication to the project paid off. She said that working in a laboratory helped her reinforce her knowledge. Despite her tight schedule, she was able to juggle both schoolwork and lab research because of her love for the field.

According to Anmole, Ticea’s mentor, her discovery will especially benefit remote areas in Africa, where there is difficult access to modern lab facilities. He said that the test could make a big impact in prolonging, if not, saving many lives of people in developing countries.

Although Ticea is young, she is determined to make future discoveries that will improve people’s lives. Luckily, she lives in a country that offers huge opportunities to fulfill this goal.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think this new discovery will encourage more people to get tested for HIV? Why or why not?
·         What are the benefits of detecting HIV early on?

Discussion B

·         How do you think can young people develop creativity?
·         How can a country support its young inventors?

July 16, 2014