Stephen Colbert was astounded by 17-year-old Olivia Hallisey when she stopped by “The Late Show” to talk about her “pregnancy test for Ebola” Tuesday night.
Hallisey won the grand prize at the 2015 Google Science Fair for her portable Ebola test.
She explained how the test works, calling it a “pregnancy test” because of the visual colour change that occurs should the person whose sample is examined be infected with Ebola.
“Current tests are expensive and complicated and, most importantly, require refrigeration,” Hallisey said. “This process uses a silk fibroin solution, which is just the proteins from silk cocoons.”
Colbert jokingly responded, “Don’t patronize me, I know what a silk fibroin is. Please, I’m much older than 17.”
The Connecticut junior came up with the project last fall after watching the news and seeing how quickly Ebola was spreading.
She cited two mentors from Tufts University and her science research teacher for their support on the project.
“I don’t know whether to be inspired or intimidated by you right now,” Colbert said.
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