Lean on Z presents Feel Good FridaysA weekly segment that helps you start the weekend on a positive note. Check back every Friday for good news and up-beat stories.

FEEL GOOD FRIDAYS: A student harnessed the power of beets to make healing from surgery safer — and more equitable

Friday, April 23rd, 2021

Hey it’s rick, Lean on Z presents ‘Feel Good Fridays.’ Positive news is good for your mental health, so here’s a story to help you feel good going into the weekend.

This week’s story comes from Iowa City West High School, where 17-year-old Dasia Taylor’s simple chemistry idea has turned her into a nationally recognized scientist, and her idea has the potential to save the lives of countless people around the world. Her idea? Color-changing stitches, that indicate when a wound is infected. Like a lot of great science, it’s actually a pretty simple idea. Dasia observed that human skin is naturally acidic, and when infected, acidity levels increase. It turns out that beets.. Yeah, the vegetable.. Beets also change color based on their acidity. After experimenting with various beet combinations, Dasia created a dye that can be used in stitches that could detect infection by changing color. This is huge! Especially for less developed countries where infections from medical procedures are a major issue but modern equipment and supplies are not available. Dasia is now working on a patent, and has received extended praise from the science field and fellow students inspired by her work. Way to go Dasia! Feels good knowing smart kids like you are making the world a better place.

— Rick Morton

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