Cork school girls named most influential teens

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Three Cork girls have been named by Times Magazine as some of the most influential teenagers in the world after winning the BT Young Scientist of the Year award.

Ciara Judge, 16, and seventeen-year-olds Émer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow won the award after their research into the growth of crops.

Times’ list of influential teenagers also includes Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, Barack Obama’s daughters Sasha and Malia and New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde.

Judge, Hickey and Healy Thow attend Kinsale Community School and won the global science prize in San Francisco earlier this year.

In their research, they looked into the uses of the bacteria diazotroph, which sucks nitrogen from soil and in turn speeds up the germination of cereal crops.

They found that if diazotroph is present it can potentially boost the germination of crops such as barley and oats by up to 50 per cent, and increased the yield of barley by 74 per cent.

“This advance could play a crucial role in solving the global food crisis, and Judge, Hickey and Healy-Thow are already planning to commercialise it,” the magazine says.

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