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12 Mar 2019

18-year-old invents method to detect malnutrition at just Rs. 2

Mangaluru boy's invention detects malnutrition at Rs. 2

An 18-year-old Mangaluru boy named Muhammed Suhail CS was honored with the prestigious Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar this January.

Wondering why?

Because of his 'The Malnutrition Project,' which talks about a non-invasive method of diagnosing pre-symptomatic Protein-Energy Malnutrition (PEM) with paper strips at just Rs. 2.

Simply put, it's a paper-based device that could presage the level of protein in a child's blood.

In context

Mangaluru boy's invention detects malnutrition at Rs. 2


Start: Child's saliva specimen is taken on the paper

Malnourishment is a major problem the world is battling.

"While the number is in lakhs in India, millions are affected by it across the globe," said Suhail.

Here, his project comes as a big help.

The process that his project follows, named 'Ultra low-cost presymptomatic paper diagnostic and nutrition tool for PEM,', starts when a child's saliva specimen is taken on the paper.


If paper changes color, the child has protein, nutrition deficiency

The biomarker in saliva indicates the level of protein in one's blood.

So, if the paper changes color, it means that the child has deficiency of proteins and nutrients.

After this process, the paper is scanned using a mobile app where it displays the percentage of protein or the extent of malnutrition.

This experiment was first conducted on Yenepoya Research center's patients.

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Suhail was inspired by another scientist named Dr. Manu Prakash


Suhail was inspired by another scientist named Dr. Manu Prakash

Dr. Manu Prakash, scientist and professor of Bioengineering at Stanford University inspired Suhail to use paper as a tool for his project.

The scientist invented the world's first microscope that detects malaria within a span of three minutes.

His development encouraged Suhail to invent a method to diagnose pre-symptomatic PEM by using paper as a tool instead of syringes or complicated steps.


'It's my way of giving back to my country'

Suhail shares, "The method costs Rs. 2 and takes merely two minutes. It's a breakthrough in terms of cost and results in zero biomedical waste."

When asked if he wishes to commercialize the device, he says, "I want it to be freely available for the society so we can tackle the issue of malnutrition together. It's my way of giving back to my country."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had tweeted about Suhail


Prime Minister Narendra Modi had tweeted about Suhail

Suhail's invention got recognized on both the national and international level.

MIT Lincoln Laboratory, along with International Astronomical Union, named a minor star after him.

This took place at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2018 held at Pittsburgh in May.

He also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and explicated his invention to him, which the former tweeted about.

Here is PM Modi's tweet


His project, on electricity generation by walking, won 50+ awards

'The Malnutrition Project' was not Suhail's only invention.

He also developed a project named, 'Let's Generate Electricity By Walking' that won more than 50 awards.

In class VII, he designed tiles measuring 40x40 cm. The tiles, when fixed in public places, could produce electricity while people walk over them.

It was utilized for generating power for street lights and other public utilities.

Suhail is working on how to make online transactions safe

Upcoming project

Suhail is working on how to make online transactions safe

The fame that came along with awards and honors did not divert Suhail's mind.

His next project is already on its way, which will enable people to make online transactions without entering debit and credit card details.

This is conceptualized by keeping in mind the issue of hacking and safety of online users.

It will be launched soon, declares the young prodigy.

Ask NewsBytes
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Most asked questions

What is PEM?

What can PEM do?

Who developed 'The Malnutrition Project'?

Where else did he develop?

More questions

What is PEM?

Asked 2019-03-12 00:02:10 by Vishal Gavde

Answered by NewsBytes

PEM is pre-symptomatic Protein-Energy Malnutrition.

What can PEM do?

Asked 2019-03-12 00:02:10 by Diya Pillai

Answered by NewsBytes

It can diagnose the malnutrition level in a body at just the price of Rs. 2.

Who developed 'The Malnutrition Project'?

Asked 2019-03-12 00:02:10 by Arnav Subramanium

Answered by NewsBytes

An 18-year-old Muhammad Suhail CS developed 'The Malnutrition Project'.

Where else did he develop?

Asked 2019-03-12 00:02:10 by Saanvi Kapoor

Answered by NewsBytes

At the age of 14, Muhammad Suhail developed a project called "Let's Walk to Generate Electricity", where he built a working model of a piezo-electric 40×40 cm tile which would generate electricity when people step on it.

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