Black high school student creates color-changing sutures that detect infection

A Black high school student invented sutures that change color when it detects an infection.

Dasia Taylor, 17, an Iowa City West High School student, started working on the project, which uses beets, in October 2019. The vegetable provides the dye for her invention, according to Smithsonian Magazine.

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In January, Taylor was one of the finalists in the country’s top science and math competitions of high school seniors, the Regeneron Science Talent Search.

“[The project] was based on the entire disproportionality of citizens who die in developing countries from surgical site infections that are detectable,” Taylor said in a video on the YouTube page Society for Science. “With my sutures, those surgical site infections would be able to be detected quicker thus lowering the amount of people who die from surgical site infections in developing countries.”

Taylor told Smithsonian that her experience working for racial equity in the Black community inspired her to research her project.

“So, when I was presented with this opportunity to do research, I couldn’t help but go at it with an equity lens,” she said.

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