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Devanshi Shukla

Location: Guelph, ON

Award: Young Canadians


Year: 2016


A Biosensor for the Detection of Microbial Contamination

Food poisoning caused by fungal contamination negatively effects the health of millions of people each year. Recognizing that detection is key to prevention, 18-year old grade 12 student Devanshi Shukla developed a sensor to detect microbial growth in food and the environment before visible signs are present. In the course of her work, she discovered that microbes release a unique chemical, p-cymene, and bioengineered a form of bacteria that can identify even trace levels in contaminated food, before it becomes a health risk.