Three Teenage Girls Have Made A Discovery That Could End The Global Food Crisis

The trio from Ireland made a remarkable discovery in their own back garden


by Fiona Byrne |
Published on

Three Irish 16-year-old girls have won the 2014 Google Science Fair with a discovery that has the potential to end the global food crisis.

Emer Hickey, Ciara Judge and Sophie Healy-Thow were awarded the top prize at the fair for their project *Combating the Global Food Crisis: Diazotroph Bacteria as a Cereal Crop Growth Promoter, *which all began when Emer was pulling peas from her garden at home.

The teenager, who had previously won science prizes including the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2013, noticed nodules on the peas and investigated them, only to find they contained a bacteria called rhizobium which actually helps the peas to grow. She wondered if maybe rhizobium could help with the growth of other foods, too. And yes, yes it can. Anyone else out there feeling totally under-accomplished right now?

After testing the bacteria on oat and wheat crops, the girls discovered that the germination time was decreased by 50% and the overall crop yield increased by an average of 30% and as much 70% of the dry mass of the crops, which means if food can be grown this much faster using this natural fertilizer, it’s amazing news for the food poverty crisis.

It's quite nice to see people winning for something that actually addresses a practical, immediate issue and not some black-hole outser space stuff, right? The trio each received a $50,000 scholarship and a 10-day trip to Galapagos.

Picture: YouTube

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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