March 8, 2022

Black Girl Magic by Stokley Onuba

Shifting the Colors in Healthcare

Since 2020, Dasia Taylor has been in the process of creating a new breakthrough innovation in medical science. The breakthrough invention allows Doctors to detect infections that someone has acquired after they’ve received surgery. She describes it quite simply, as “color-changing stitches that provide early detection for infections, with the specific focus on surgical site infections in developing countries, because those can be very deadly if they’re found too late.” Innovations like these are why it is so important that diversity permeates through all rungs of society; because it allows ingenious solutions to find their way to the forefront. We all have different perspectives, and can learn something new from each of our neighbors. Taylor’s invention is based around chemical imbalances, which then cause a reaction in the stitches that forces them to change colors. She’s currently awaiting patent approval, and can’t go into much detail, but she does state that healthy skin is naturally acidic and if a surgical site gets infected, the acidity in the skin decreases. It needs to be stated as well, that Dasia is only 17 years old, and actually began the path to this breakthrough while still in High School. Realizing that low- and middle-income countries' infection rate for surgeries were much higher, she realized that there needed to be a more equitable solution. Currently, smart stitches exist, but the cost of them is simply too expensive for these countries to implement them on a wide-scale. In creating this project, she even opened her teachers eyes to the widespread racial discrimination that’s oftentimes invisible but still very detrimental to those that find themselves on the wrong side of it. For her project, she was named as a finalist in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, a national competition that boasts Nobel Prize winners and MacArthur fellows as past finalists. She was even recently featured in the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Lookout for Dasia Taylor to do more magical things in the upcoming years, as she heads to the University of Iowa. Go Hawkeyes!

Blog post by Stokley Onuba, Inside Sales Lead

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