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March Madness for science lovers (Go Stanford!)

paperfuge_prakash-560
A 20-cent, hand-powered blood centrifuge invented at Stanford is included in STAT’s bracket-style contest to find the best innovation in science and medicine. Just like the March Madness basketball tournament, STAT is pitting university against university for this honor, based on votes from its readers and editors. (Please vote now to keep Stanford in the running.)

The “Paperfuge,” as it’s called by its inventors, is a centrifuge made from paper, twine and plastic. It can separate blood plasma from red cells in 1.5 minutes and malaria parasites in 15 minutes, no electricity required. (When used for disease testing, a centrifuge separates blood components and makes pathogens easier to detect.)

Designed as a “frugal science tool” that can be used around the globe in resource-poor areas, it provides users with the basic functionality of centrifuges that cost from $1,000 to $5,000 for a mere 20 cents in materials.

Voting began yesterday and the first round of voting ends Thurs., March 9 at 9 PM Pacific time. Winners will be announced on April 3 — one fan favorite and one editor’s pick. Both winners get a prize and bragging rights.

Previously: Stanford bioengineers develop a 20-cent, hand-powered blood centrifuge, Stanford bioengineer Manu Prakash named a MacArthur Fellow, and Stanford bioengineer develops a 50-cent paper microscope
Photo by Kurt Hickman

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