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Found the Talent

Three US high school students have won the Intel Talent Search, Reuters reports. They each will take home $150,000.

Seventeen-year-old Amol Punjabi from Marlborough, Mass., won the competition's basic research category. He created software to help drug makers develop new therapeutics for cancer and heart disease. He has also co-authored a paper on nanoparticles that appeared in ACS Nano and has another paper on a related topic in Nanoscale, according to Intel.

Paige Brown, a 17-year-old from Bangor, Me., won the global good division for her research into the water quality of six streams with high E. coli and phosphate levels. Intel adds that she is currently devising a filter made of calcium alginate to remove the phosphate from storm water systems.

Finally, Maya Varma, also 17, from Cupertino, Calif., took first place in the competition's innovation category for creating a smartphone-based tool to detect lung disease using just $35 of electronics and computer-based design tools. As Intel notes, her device can diagnose lung disease just as well as approaches currently used in medical laboratories can.