Simone Abramson

Inventor

Shoprite Checkers Woman of the Year Finalist, Glamour Magazine Woman of the Year, HIP2B2 Brand Ambassador and a high school student. Huh? Doesn't seem to add up. Well, unless you are Simone Abramson. At the tender age of 16, Abramson made a major breakthrough when she invented an alternative to the current human identification methods. The Cape Town schoolgirl invented a photographic system based on the internal properties of the eye, which can't be forged or changed. The inspiration for the project came when her grandfather was diagnosed with diabetes, which was confirmed using fundus photography. This is a common technology that photographs the back of the eye, or the "fundus�, revealing the health of the optic nerve, vitreous, macula and retina. With her method in place, Abramson entered Eskom's Expo for Young Scientists in 2007, using her grandfather's medical records as inspiration for her project. But now that she's all famous, do her teachers and students treat her differently? "Not really,� says Abramson, who is now 18. "It's like a job I do. I don't let it worry me.� Her ground-breaking project is in its final developmental stage. She has patented her idea but has not yet sold the rights because she hasn't received interest from the "right kind of people�. And finding the right kind of people is not going to be easy, considering who her idol is. "Nelson Mandela,� she quips, "because he was so determined to do something that nothing could

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