e play with is long. Toys are the source of fodder for our curiosity and excitement. In retrospect, toys play a major role in influencing our education and continue to improve the abilities and skills we need to be prepared for life. Toys can frame a perspective and this perspective tickles our intellect. Perhaps that is the reason why a simple toy like a ‘whirligig’ inspired an Indian scientist to reinvent a high-tech tool using inexpensive materials.
Meet Manu Prakash:
Your not-so-average Indian who is a bioengineering professor at Stanford University. Yes! he is a very smart person, and not just because he is a professor in one of the world’s most prestigious colleges, but this guy is an actual genius. Mr Prakash is a recipient of the eminent MacArthur Fellowship. The other person whom you might know has won this honour is our beloved nerd, Sheldon Cooper! While Mr Cooper is an amazing, albeit a fictional character, let us assure you that Manu Prakash is the real deal. He has dedicated his intellect, passion and inspiration to come up with frugal innovations which make medicine, computing and microscopy easily accessible to people worldwide. His team is focused on creating low-cost engineering tools for health care or environmental applications. Several awesome inventions like Foldscope and a water-droplet powered computer are being developed by Manu Prakash and his team.
Due to his upbringing in still developing countries, Manu Prakash has a clear understanding of the problems which are not paid attention to in most well-equipped academic environments.
“Science education in developing countries doesn’t exist and that’s probably one of the reasons why we don’t have enough doctors and scientists”– Manu Prakash
They say third time is the charm! The Paperfuge is the third invention which sprung out of Manu Prakash’s lab. The device is human-powered blood centrifuge inspired by the frugal mechanism of a whirligig which can attain a rotational speed of up to 125,000 rpm. A centrifuge is essential for detecting deadly diseases such as malaria, African sleeping sickness, HIV and TB. ‘Paperfuge’ is an extremely low-cost version of the centrifuge which will empower health care workers in resource-poor areas with scientific capabilities. Help them in helping the people who need medical attention!
Being a scientist may not be similar to being an entrepreneur, but it sure does involve the same ‘research-plan-experiment‘ method! The invention by this remarkable Indian can precisely diagnose and treat the poor in off-the-grid regions where these diseases are most prevalent. Prakash’s Paperfuge can bridge the gap between people in remote areas and healthcare facilities. Isn’t that what entrepreneurs do? Come up with a solution for a problem and stuff!
Let us know if you agree with us. Drop a message on facebook or just comment below anytime you would like. Pick My Story will be here with some more stories about such insprirational & entrepreneurial Indians who are changing the world. Stay tuned!
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