Bronx, New York native, Neha Mani, has had quite a bit to celebrate these last couple months. In May, she placed in the top seven of the nation’s largest high school science fair, the Regeneron ISEF. She won $10,000 for creating a novel tool distinguishing between bacterial swarming and swimming, which can be applied as a diagnostic device for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). She explains that bacterial swarming has been linked to intestinal inflammation in IBD patients and bacterial swimming has been linked to homeostasis (i.e. a healthy gut). Neha’s research, for which she has already filed for a U.S. patent, has the potential to diagnose intestinal diseases that can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint – for instance, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. She hopes that by using a simple stool specimen, pricey diagnostic procedures and ongoing tests will be relegated to the past.