Popular Science's 'The Brilliant 10 of 2016' Part 1

Popular Science's 'The Brilliant 10 of 2016'

This is the 15th year Popular Science has searched nationwide to find the 10 "most innovated young minds in science and engineering." Below is a brief outline of 3 of this year's Brilliant 10 of 2016.

Shyam Gollakota - 31 year old Gollakota studies computer science and engineering at the University of Washington.  He and his team uncovered a way to create Wi-Fi signals without radio transistors. Dubbed "passive Wi-Fi", these devices use 10,000 times less power than a typical Wi-Fi chip, and 1,000 times less power than the most effificent Bluetooth. "Now you can have completely battery-free devices," Gollakota said. Read more about passive wi-fi here.

Liangfang Zhang - 36 year old Zhang studies nanomedicine and chemical engineering at the University of California, San Diego.  Although nanoparticles are capable of delivering medicines directly to diseased tissues, the body's immune systems has a tendency to destroy the virus-sized particles before they are able to do their jobs. Zhang and his team developed a way to dupe the body's immune system into letting the medication pass by cloaking the nanoparticles in platelet skins and injected mice infected with a drug-resistant staph infection. The results were dramatic. Read more about Zhang's trial here.

Cigall Kadoch - 31 year old Kadoch works at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Mass., focusing on cancer biology. Kadoch, who describes herself as "a hunter for biochemical mechanisms," was able to link a complex of proteins called BAF (more specifically, a protein called SS18, which is a subunit of BAF) to cancer. Kadoch found 100% of patients with a rare type of cancer called synovial sarcoma showed mutations of the SS18 protein. "We were very excited," Kadoch said. "This gave us a direct way to link BAF to cancer." Kadoch also found that such BAF defects exist for more than 20% of human cancers, meaning her discovery could go on to help numberable people.