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Ciara Judge, Emer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow (pictured above, far right) are 16-year old students at the Kinsale Community School in Ireland. Together, they’ve won the Google Science Fair 2014 thanks to an impressive agricultural breakthrough that could solve the world food crisis.
The avid gardeners developed a innovative technique to prevent low crop yields. They did so by combining a nitrogen-fixing bacteria (which pea plants use to produce protein and DNA) with cereal crops such as wheat and barley, which are not commonly associated with the bacteria.
This small change doubled crop growth and increased barley yields by 74 percent. It has the potential of combating the world food crisis.
“Such a cereal crop performance improvement could significantly assist combatting the growing global food poverty challenge and reduce the environmental footprint of agriculture by reducing fertilizer use,” they explain. Their future plans include experimenting with different bacteria and other food crops.
The young scientists won a trip to the Galapagos Islands and a $50,000 scholarship. Here's a look at their project: