November 2, 2017 / Modified nov 2, 2017 3:56 p.m.

How A Children's Toy Led To An Essential Medical Device

Inspiration for inventions sometimes come from unusual places.

Stanford researcher Manu Prakash needed to create a centrifuge that could run without electricity. He found the answer by studying toys.

Scientists have found the inspiration for a lifesaving tool in an unusual place — a children's toy. The invention may soon help health care workers diagnose malaria in places where standard laboratory equipment is hard to find.

Inspiration for inventions sometimes come from unusual places. In "Invention Stories" we explore the unexpected paths to discovery.

Read "Children's Whirligig Toy Inspires a Low-Cost Laboratory Test" on NPR.org

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