Long Island students in 2018 science competition

Long Island is home to 46 of the 300 high school students nationwide who reached the scholars level of the Regeneron Science Talent Search for 2018. More than 1,800 students entered the competition, formerly run by Intel, and more than a third of the scholars were from New York State. The 300 were narrowed down on Jan. 23 to 40 finalists, including Andrew Fang and Chiu Fan Bowen Lo of Jericho High School, who will compete in Washington, D.C. Here are details on the 106 students from New York, listed by region and then by school, with Long Island at the top, followed by 30 students from New York City and then 30 more from the rest of New York State. One Long Island student attends school in New Jersey.

You can read more about the Regeneron scholars here. This database was updated on Jan. 23, 2018.

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Name Gender School name School city Category Project title Summary
Name Swara Kalva Gender Female School name Bronx High School of Science School city Bronx Category Genomics Project title Gibson Deletion: A Novel Application of Isothermal In Vitro Recombination Summary Recombinant DNA technology is relevant to virtually all biological research fields. Of the techniques available to manipulate genes through this technology, the Gibson Assembly allows for an efficient, one-step, recombination-based assembly. Here, the Gibson Assembly was characterized and applied for the deletion of DNA sequences around a DNA cut site. This method, herein called Gibson Deletion, can be used to easily substitute or delete one or more restriction sites within a DNA molecule. Here it is shown that Gibson Deletion is a viable method to delete up to 100 nucleotides from the DNA ends of a cut site, and that too using only single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides as donors. In addition, by using an RFP gene cassette as donor DNA for the Gibson Deletion, it was found that deletion-insertion of a larger DNA sequence was also possible.
Name Mateo Massey Gender Male School name Bronx High School of Science School city Bronx Category Earth and Planetary Project title Autonomous Navigation to Dynamic Oceanographic Features: Localizing the Oceanic Mixed Layer with an In Situ Method and a Three Term Control System Summary Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) operate without any human supervision, but currently they cannot navigate to dynamic oceanographic features. These features, such as the oceanic mixed layer, change in location depending on regional and seasonal conditions. The mixed layer is of great interest to scientists observing ocean processes and marine life. In order to allow AUVs to autonomously navigate to the base of the mixed layer, I developed an in situ method and controller to find the mixed layer depth. I tested my method on temperature, salinity, and density profiles under a wide range of conditions, and it performed much better than conventional methods. Next, I simulated my controller on two distinct models of AUVs, and in both cases, the controller successfully navigated to the mixed layer. Future research can use the in situ method to improve climate models, and the control system to navigate to other dynamic oceanographic features.
Name Ryoha Mitsuya Gender Male School name Bronx High School of Science School city Bronx Category Cellular and Molecular Biology Project title A Novel Methodology in Measuring the Excitability of M1 Pyramidal Neurons and Modeling the Computational Capacity of Dendrites Summary Pyramidal neurons are the greatest integrators of the M1 neocortex and are known to export signals to the brainstem and the rest of the body. Past studies were performed with flawed models and inaccurate in vitro methods. The methods used in this project utilized a detailed model with a novel analytical approach to observe the impact of multiple variables on the excitability of these cells. Variables included the dendritic branch, the number of stimuli, and the connectivity of neurons. The major findings in this project was that these neurons exhibited a pattern of linear summation in excitatory voltage when multiple signals arrived at the soma. This implies that there exists a linearizing function in these cells. Projects such as the building of advanced prosthetics rely on reliable data and accurate reconstructions of the process of human movement, which is only possible while understanding the functions of these pyramidal neurons.
Name Maximilian Porlein Gender Male School name Bronx High School of Science School city Bronx Category Behavioral and Social Sciences Project title The Effect of Human Agency on Economic Development and the Rural-Urban Divide Summary Throughout America, a great divide is forming between rural and urban communities, partially due to an economic decline in some areas. Some attribute weak local economies to a cultural crisis and a lack of human agency. This study aims to determine if human agency is a cause in the rural-urban divide, and also observe the effect that human agency has on economic success. Surveys were gathered from all over the U.S. to determine agency levels of people from various areas. The responses were then observed in context of public economic data. Those who had higher levels of human agency also had significantly higher incomes and higher qualities of life. More urban states were found to be more innovative and productive than rural states. Policy recommendations to improve human agency levels and economic outcomes in rural areas were made, including job training, business incentives, and more accessible government resources.
Name Justin Qi Gender Male School name Bronx High School of Science School city Bronx Category Environmental Science Project title Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire: Secondary Uranium Uptake Problems in ESR Dating Eastern Europe's Oldest Hearths at Medzhibozh, Ukraine Summary Medzhibozh, Ukraine, the first early human settlement in the Ukraine, also has perhaps the oldest fireplaces discovered in Eastern Europe, representing a key turning point in human evolution where humans began to use fire habitually. Through dating four deer teeth, this study dates the fireplaces at Medzhibozh to approximately 370,000 years ago, indicating that Homo heidelbergensis, a direct Neanderthal ancestor, likely introduced habitual fire usage into Europe. Further analysis suggests that the entire site of Medzhibozh was affected by a geochemical event that changed the teeth's uranium concentrations. This study thus reveals the potential of building models adjusting for systematic inaccuracies in ESR dating that currently occur at archaeological sites all across the world, providing a better chance to precisely date early human migrations, observe our ancestors' responses to ancient climate change, and investigate the causes of their extinction.
Name Theodore Sandler Gender N/A School name Bronx High School of Science School city Bronx Category Physics Project title Atmospheric Fluorescence Detection of Subluminal Objects Summary Humans have wondered about the world for as long as they can remember. This wonder has led to questions about what the very fabric of the universe is made of. Our knowledge is not perfect, and there are flaws in the field of extremely high-energy interactions. These interactions become nearly impossible to achieve in particle accelerators, so instead, we can figure out these secrets by turning to the universe itself and the incredibly energetic events that could create theoretical particles. By placing detectors above the atmosphere looking down, we can observe for flashes of light that can signal the presence of meteors, theoretical particles, and high-energy cosmic rays. Initial data I analyzed from super-pressure balloons give insights to the number of meteors and theoretical particles that are in the universe and what masses they might have or if they exist at all.
Name Natasha Stamler Gender Female School name Bronx High School of Science School city Bronx Category Environmental Science Project title Creating a Model to Optimize and Evaluate the Heat-Reducing Capacity of Green Infrastructure Summary In order to protect New York City's many inhabitants and visitors from rising temperatures and heat-related illness, this study evaluates the effectiveness of New York City's green infrastructure (GI) program in mitigating rising temperatures by creating a heat vulnerability index (HVI) using risk factors for New York City's 188 Census neighborhoods, a much more accurate model than that of existing studies using the 42 United Hospital Fund neighborhoods. By comparing this HVI to a control HVI extrapolated from the current distribution of GI sites, the program's effectiveness and the number of sites needed in each neighborhood were calculated. Only 11% of neighborhoods had an acceptable number of sites and 75% of neighborhoods were significantly in need of GI, meaning that the program was not optimizing its heat-reducing potential. GI was discovered to be needed most in Eastern Bronx and Southern Brooklyn, and least in Central Queens and Lower Manhattan.
Name Jessica Su Gender N/A School name Bronx High School of Science School city Bronx Category Cellular and Molecular Biology Project title A New Computational Model for the Detection of Microcephaly: A Much Needed Method in the Age of Zika Summary My project concerns the creation of the first accurate method of diagnosing microcephaly. The World Health Organization has declared the Zika virus outbreak to be a Public Health Emergency on an international scale. Since babies exposed to Zika are 50 times more susceptible to developing microcephaly, a significant public health issue emerges -- having a generation of babies with disabilities. Since current methods of diagnosing microcephaly are reliant on inaccurate estimations of gestational age, these methods are unreliable. Empirically, I discovered that the head circumference is directly related to the ratio of the femur length cubed to the abdominal circumference raised to the power of 1.5, leading to an equation that applies to every percentile. This model diagnoses microcephaly through fetal biometric measurements by distinguishing between a healthy and microcephalic fetus, allows clinicians to provide appropriate medical prognoses for families, and leads experts in developing treatments for microcephaly.
Name Rachel Sue Gender Female School name Bronx High School of Science School city Bronx Category Cellular and Molecular Biology Project title Comparing Replication Stress Responses in Cells Expressing Different Oncogenes Summary Oncogenes cause cancer when altered. Myc is altered in many cancers; the mechanisms by which Myc causes cancer are unclear. Myc causes replication stress and subsequent DNA damage, which occur when DNA synthesis is disturbed. Other oncogenes reported to cause replication stress were compared to determine differences in how they cause stress. Cells expressing these oncogenes were assayed for DNA damage and replication stress markers. Levels of histone H2AX phosphorylation, which increases when DNA damage occurs, were determined using Western blot. The cell cycle stage H2AX phosphorylation occurred was observed using fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), since replication stress typically causes damage in specific stages. Finally, the distribution of RUVBL1, a protein that travels from the cytoplasm to the nucleus during replication stress in response to Myc, was determined using confocal microscopy. The results of these experiments indicate that oncogene expression response is heterogeneous, and that the mechanisms differ among oncogenes.
Name Vera Zarubin Gender Female School name Bronx High School of Science School city Bronx Category Engineering Project title A Novel Methodology to Build Organic Multifunctional Materials via Magnetic Alignment Summary Organic materials may someday replace inorganic components in computers, smartphones, and bioelectronics. However, the applications of organic materials are currently limited by fabrication methods that require the use of toxic chemicals or expensive equipment. In this project, I developed a new fabrication method that uses low-level magnetic fields on the scale of millitesla to control the alignment of particles and the material properties. The particles form microscopic rod-like and star-like structures, as observed with a scanning electron microscope. These structures coincide with a quadrupling of the thermoelectric effect and a doubling of the electrical conductivity, in turn enhancing the energy harvesting properties. The magnetic alignment occurs due to paramagnetic charge carriers, as detected by circular dichroism spectroscopy. The new fabrication method enables more controllable structural features for multifunctional materials that serve as the cornerstone of engineering advancements.
Name Ella Feiner Gender Female School name Horace Mann School School city Bronx Category Cellular and Molecular Biology Project title Exploring Posterior Growth in D. rerio Using a Live Cell Cycle Biosensor Summary Metastasis, the process by which tumor cells spread throughout the body, is the most fatal and the least understood aspect of cancer. Though cancer cells are typically associated with uncontrolled proliferation, studies suggest that metastasis may only be possible during periods of cell cycle arrest, when division is halted. Since some cancer treatments kill only proliferating cells, arrested cells are left behind and could still metastasize. Here, we examine the cell cycle dependence of convergent extension, a developmental event that closely resembles metastasis, using a new biosensor that allows for live imaging of the cell cycle. We used the sensor with cancer drugs to explore the effects of forced cell cycle arrest. Interestingly, we found that halting the cell cycle leads more cells to become invasive, supporting the hypothesis that cell cycle arrest spurs invasion. Understanding the relationship between cell cycle control and cell migration could revolutionize cancer treatment.
Name Chelsea Chen Gender Female School name Hunter College High School School city New York Category Computer Science Project title Design of Optimal Network Topologies for Supercomputers Summary Supercomputers are used to combat compute-intensive problems. Because the increasing speed of single processors is reaching its limit, supercomputers today rely on embedding tens of thousands of processors into one system. Current research focuses on where to add hardware to increase speed, yet lacks deeper investigation into the relationship between the configuration of wires and the speed of supercomputers. This project takes a novel approach in orchestrating better computing power by reconfiguring the wires of a supercomputer using discovered and tested optimal network configurations. Test servers were connected and performances were analyzed. Quadrupled performance gain in speeds was observed as compared with the speed of mainstream topologies. The results are revolutionary in that, by reconfigurations, computation time can be lessened by a significant degree. Future supercomputers may adapt the discovered topologies for performance enhancements to conquer more grand challenges in sciences, engineering and artificial intelligence.
Name Brendon Choy Gender Male School name Hunter College High School School city New York Category Chemistry Project title Cutting off Cancer - Design, Analysis, and Synthesis of Novel Vascular Disrupting Agents Summary Scientists have found that tumors rely on a surrounding network of blood vessels or (tumor vasculature) for appropriate nutrients to survive. Consequently, if tumor vasculature is destroyed, by drugs called Vascular Disrupting Agents (VDAs), tumors will be starved out and die. The purpose of this study was to discover new VDAs with improved ability to selectively target and kill tumors. A library of 210 new VDA compounds including over 15 unique molecular scaffolds was intelligently designed. All 210 designs were analyzed computationally and factors like drug interaction and solubility were studied. SB-BC-160 emerged as the most promising original VDA design, exhibiting high predicted effectiveness and overcoming problems of previous VDAs such as geometric instability. A synthesis scheme for SB-BC-160 was developed, and its molecular scaffold can serve as the basis to a novel class of VDAs, leading to new treatment options for the millions of people affected by cancer.
Name Benjamin Firester Gender Male School name Hunter College High School School city New York Category Plant Sciences Project title Modeling the Spatio-Temporal Dynamics of Phytopthora infestans on a Regional Scale Summary Potato late blight caused the Irish Potato Famine and costs billions of dollars in crop damages annually. Spores transmit the disease which can decimate fields in days. The only defense is to douse fields with fungicide preemptively -- an environmentally damaging, inadequate, and costly method. I created a mathematical model that predicts when fields are at risk of infection, and which nearby strains will be the likely source. This information tells farmers when and whether to spray fungicides and of what type. To validate my model, I developed a novel statistical method for models that have (presence-only) data (showing only where the disease is). This showed that my model performed with high levels of accuracy in isolating different regions of varying risk. My model could be used for a decision support system, whereby regional farmers work together to share infection data, enabling the model to accurately predict their risk assessments.
Name Brian Huang Gender Male School name Hunter College High School School city New York Category Mathematics Project title On Sufficient Conditions for Trapped Surfaces in Spherically Symmetric Spacetimes Summary Black hole formation is a topic of high interest in general relativity and can be predicted by the existence of a trapped surface, a boundary of space on which an outgoing shell of light must decrease in area over time. The Trapped Surface Conjecture states that trapped surfaces form when a given amount of matter is concentrated in a sufficiently small volume. We made progress in the case of spherical symmetry by applying given constraints on two mathematical objects, the metric and extrinsic curvature, to determine geometrical quantities describing a matter distribution. Using techniques from calculus and differential geometry, we discover several inequalities relating mass, matter flow, radius, and area which, if satisfied by a matter distribution, lead to the existence of a trapped surface in the spacetime. Our results advance efforts to prove the Trapped Surface Conjecture and have applications in differential geometry, general relativity, and cosmology.
Name Helen Lu Gender Female School name Hunter College High School School city New York Category Cellular and Molecular Biology Project title Identification of microRNA-133 and microRNA-143 Interaction with TRPM8 mRNA as a Novel Therapeutic Treatment for Neuropathy-Induced Cold Allodynia Summary The American opioid crisis from painkiller overprescription has claimed over 183,000 lives since 1999, with another 2 million currently dependent on opioid painkillers. Replacing highly-addictive opioid medications with non-addictive treatment options for chronic pain, such as microRNA (miR) mimics, is crucial to stemming this epidemic. This study set out to identify potential miR targets, such as the cold-hypersensitivity-associated calcium-ion channel TRPM8, that contribute to the development of chronic pain. In doing so, non-addictive miR mimics could be purchased from companies such as Thermo Fisher Scientific and potentially implemented as a treatment for chronic pain. This study investigates miR-133, miR-143, and miR-1 in human cells to determine their role in TRPM8 translation. The results demonstrate that miR-133 and miR-143, but not miR-1, regulate TRPM8 translation. This research provides a basis for testing synthesized miR-133 and miR-143 mimics in human cells as a non-addictive treatment for chronic pain involving cold hypersensitivity.
Name Kemal Aziz Gender Male School name Staten Island Technical High School School city Staten Island Category Physics Project title Cooling through Quantum Mechanics: Characterization of Magnon-driven Magnetocaloric Effects in La-Fe-Si, CoMnSi, and Gadolinium Summary The magnetocaloric effect (MCE) is the temperature change of a magnetic material caused by exposing the material to an external magnetic field. The primary industrial application of the MCE is magnetic refrigeration, which is already used to achieve very low temperatures (below --450 degrees Kelvin) and has the potential to replace conventional refrigerators for domestic use. An objective of this project is to develop analysis which compares conventional magnetocaloric alloys that heat up (e.g., La-Fe-Si) with inverse magnetocaloric alloys that cool down (e.g., CoMnSi) in magnetic fields. Literature magnetization data of samples that were cycled into a magnetic field using a coil are evaluated. Analysis of this data indicates that La-Fe-Si a suitable candidate for refrigeration applications given its high refrigeration capacity and magnetic entropy (microscopic disorder which drives temperature changes). This analysis also yields software programs to analyze experimental magnetization measurements of magnetocaloric materials and model microscopic magnetic fluctuations.
Name Timur Ibragimov Gender Male School name Staten Island Technical High School School city Staten Island Category Space Science Project title Stochasticity on astronomical scales: Developing a half-life formalism to describe the disruption of N-body systems Summary Do systems of stars, black holes, and other large bodies in space behave similarly to radioactive particles on microscopic scales? Though this question is yet to be fully answered, our research has so-far shown that, yes, there is a similarity. Through a concentrated study of radioactive decay and the statistical principles that guide it, my mentor and I have extended these principles to chaotic, or probabilistic, systems of bodies. With the use of computer simulations and models, we carefully analyzed the time-related behavior of these systems, and found startling results. The agreement between our predictions and the simulations was excellent. Moreover, we have learned a significant amount about these chaotic systems, and what our results imply. Our results indicate that by analyzing the graphs of the disruptions of these systems, we can establish accurate mathematical models to predict how these chaotic systems will evolve in the future.
Name Tiffany Chen Gender Female School name Stuyvesant High School School city New York Category Behavioral and Social Sciences Project title The Cost of Living: Using Machine Learning Algorithms to Predict Gentrifying Neighborhoods in New York City Summary Gentrification in American cities is a growing trend. Since gentrification can have both positive and negative effects on a lower-income neighborhood, it is becoming increasingly important to understand which neighborhoods would gentrify in the future. This research aims to create a data model that predicts the neighborhoods that will gentrify using predictive computer algorithms. With New York City housing data, I found that East New York, Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Cypress Hills, Soundview, and Bath Beach are most likely to gentrify. This model has potential in understanding gentrification and, when used in conjunction with census data, can be used to help large cities across the world predict gentrification in their city.
Name Jenny Gao Gender Female School name Stuyvesant High School School city New York Category Plant Sciences Project title Quantifying the impact of nitrogen use on photosynthetic rates by live imaging Summary To maintain a food supply that accommodates our growing population, nitrogen fertilizer is increasingly added to the soil, which harms the environment since plants only absorb 30% - 50% of the nitrogen. A better understanding of how plants utilize nitrogen can reduce the amount of fertilizer. The model I am testing is that light intensity and nitrogen concentration are interconnected. My hypothesis is that light and nitrogen have an additive effect on photosynthesis and biomass. Computer scripts were developed to estimate chlorophyll concentration from leaf color and biomass from leaf area. In addition, a PAM fluorometer and my code quantified photosynthetic parameters. These computer science approaches allow for continuous measurements in live plants while common procedures kill plants. Results indicated that nitrogen dose has a significant effect on photosynthesis at high light. Farmers/researchers should consider this interaction between light and nitrogen when deciding how much nitrogen to apply to crops.
Name Benedict Ho Gender Male School name Stuyvesant High School School city New York Category Cellular and Molecular Biology Project title Characterization of N-Myc Downstream Targets in Novel Patient-Derived Neuroendocrine Prostate Cancer Organoid Summary A subtype of prostate cancer called neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC) develops as a mechanism of treatment resistance. NEPC is shown to be driven by overexpression and amplification of the oncogene MYCN (encoding N-Myc). My research aims to determine how N-Myc drives the NEPC phenotype. By identifying downstream genes, we can better understand how N-Myc reprograms prostate adenocarcinoma. Two human models were used: one is a established from 22Rv1 cells transfected with N-Myc, the other is a patient-derived NEPC organoid that naturally expresses N-Myc. Quantitative real time PCR was performed on 22Rv1 cell lines and organoid to identify downstream targets. My data establishes N-Myc as an upstream regulator of ten genes that previously were never associated with N-Myc in NEPC. These genes include genes that may drive features of NEPC and genes involved in pluripotency. Future research on the mechanisms behind gene expression has the potential to find new curative avenues.
Name Julian Rubinfien Gender Male School name Stuyvesant High School School city New York Category Biochemistry Project title Amplification of Human Telomeric DNA Sequences in Outer Space via Polymerase Chain Reaction and Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification Summary Spaceflight induces numerous changes in the human body, including alterations in the lengths of caps on the tips of chromosomes, called telomeres. Telomeres, made of DNA and protein, protect chromosomes from numerous sources of damage in a cell. The integrity and, more specifically, the lengths of telomeres are critical in protecting human organs from gradual decay. It is unknown how telomere dynamics change in astronauts, and how these changes might contribute to symptoms of disease that humans face during spaceflight. Currently, microgravity research can only be performed on the International Space Station (ISS), which has few tools for molecular biological tools. Here, the author -- with assistance from NASA and various other public and private institutions -- launched a set of molecular biology experiments to the ISS. These included the first-ever analysis of telomeres in space, paving the way for a range of new investigations into telomere dynamics in space.
Name Noah Sadik Gender Male School name Townsend Harris High School School city Flushing Category Medicine and Health Project title Saliva-based assay development for non-invasive brain tumor diagnostics Summary Liquid biopsies are rapidly emerging as methods of diagnosing various cancers without the need for tissue samples, enabling minimally invasive diagnostics before symptoms begin for early cancer detection and continuous monitoring tumors evolution. Exosomes are particles containing genetic material from their cells of origin. Liquid biopsies can be achieved by tumor-derived exosome analysis. Ability to detect either of these mutations early on would optimize neurosurgical procedures. I isolated exosomes from human saliva in search of commonly mutated genes in brain tumors. I tested saliva 5 patients 10 healthy volunteers. I was able to detect non-mutated versions of the genes in both patients and controls, providing promising evidence that rare tumor mutations might also be shuttled into and detectable through the saliva. I was unable to detect the mutant alleles in any of my samples, suggesting a need to sensitize our assays. Additionally, I will work on greater patient sample acquisition.
Name Tara Venkatadri Gender Female School name Ardsley High School School city Ardsley Category Earth and Planetary Project title Exploring Lunar Impact Basin Porosity through a Weighted Least-Squares Fit Model Summary The Moon shares geologic history with Earth and is covered by craters from asteroid collisions. Since these craters resemble ancient terrestrial craters, the Moon serves as a record of Earth's history. Different forces during asteroid collisions change porosity, the amount of empty space in rock. Heat melts rock, decreasing porosity, but downward force shatters rock, increasing porosity. This study evaluated crater porosity with a different methodology that is more broadly applicable than previous studies, using NASA mission data to observe the porosity, age, and diameter of 50 intermediate-sized lunar craters. Porosity decreased in the center of the craters and increased immediately outside many craters, suggesting that melting occurs within craters and shattering occurs outside craters. Porosity was unrelated to diameter and weakly correlated with age. Future research may use computer models to investigate the causes of these porosity trends and understand how lunar porosity relates to Earth's history.
Name Margaret Zhong Gender Female School name Ardsley High School School city Ardsley Category Medicine and Health Project title The Novel Therapeutic Implications for Nimodipine in Alzheimer's Disease Summary Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. Due to the lack of effective treatments that prevent the progression of the disease, there is a pressing need for an AD cure or therapy. A common approach to finding a cure or therapy has been to repurpose already-FDA approved drugs for AD treatment. This project focuses on nimodipine, an antihypertensive, and a nimodipine derivative as potential AD treatments. It was demonstrated in cell culture, that when treated with nimodipine and the nimodipine derivative, there were lowered levels of a protein associated with AD. When this was tested on mice that have been genetically modified to have AD symptoms, it was found that the nimodipine derivative significantly improved cognitive function and also lowered levels of key proteins associated with AD. These data suggest that nimodipine-derivatives could be used to improve outcomes for AD patients.
Name Jared Bassett Gender Male School name Blind Brook High School School city Rye Brook Category Cellular and Molecular Biology Project title The functional role of the Immunoglobulin Superfamily member number 3 in glioma progression and dissemination Summary My lab recently identified that the protein product of the Immunoglobulin Superfamily member number 3 (IgSF3) gene may play a role in the progression of invasive gliomas. The goal of this study was to examine the role of IgSF3 in the spread of invasive brain tumors, and create the recombinant/biological technology required to investigate it. Analysis of public data suggests that IgSF3 is associated with the development of a more aggressive tumor, thus worsening prognosis. After confirming the ability to regulate IgSF3 expression via recombinant technology, analysis of its effect on other markers indicated that IgSF3 may be playing a role in the acquisition of a more invasive and deadly tumor. Additionally, IgSF3 is involved in the migratory, and thus diffuse, characteristics if these tumors. This preliminary data suggests a function of IgSF3 as being involved in glioma progression and dissemination, and confirms the feasibility of our biological tools.
Name Yujia Yang Gender Female School name Brighton High School School city Rochester Category Physics Project title Improving the Uniformity of Revolver Designs for the National Ignition Facility Summary When laser energy is directed into a capsule filled with hydrogen isotopes, fusion -- a nuclear reaction that releases energy -- occurs. The greater the uniformity the lasers compress the target with, the more energy will come out of the reaction, and breakeven occurs when the output is equal to the input. The current laser optics on the National Ignition Facility produce beam spots on the Revolver target that are small and result in regions of localized over- and undercompression, making the variation too great to achieve breakeven. This work implemented custom laser optics to change size, shape, and position of beam spots to decrease variations in the horizontal direction by more than two-fold. This contributes towards the goal of breakeven and high energy gain, because once energy output is about a hundred times the energy input, laser fusion can be considered a clean, abundant alternative energy source.
Name Alexis Aberman Gender Female School name Byram Hills High School School city Armonk Category Behavioral and Social Sciences Project title A direct comparison of infants' comprehension of unique versus generic versions of objects Summary I researched whether a milestone exists at which infants are able to make abstractions from unique object labels to generic categories. Based on the premise that infants may first view object labels as proper nouns, I compared an infant's comprehension of his own objects (such as his own bottle) with generic versions the same objects (such as an unfamiliar bottle). I utilized photographs of the unique and generic versions of each object in an eye tracking experiment. Each trial consisted of two photos displayed on a screen while the baby was directed to look at one. Each infant saw 32 pairs of images during their 32 trials: 16 (unique pairs) and 16 (generic pairs). The results provide some evidence that infants have a better understanding of their own objects, suggesting that such a milestone may exist. This finding could help improve diagnoses of language developmental delays in the future.
Name Alexandra Brocato Gender Female School name Byram Hills High School School city Armonk Category Computational Biology and Bioinformatics Project title Illuminating non-neuromuscular phenotypes and their temporal trajectory in Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) using electronic health records Summary Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a hereditary condition that causes nerve cells (motor neurons) in the spinal cord to die. Without these cells, the brain is unable to send important messages to the body's muscles, often leading to death. SMA remains the leading genetic cause of infant mortality. Until now, research has focused on increasing the body's production of SMN protein, which can prevent motor neurons from dying. But without a clear understanding of the progression or trajectory of the disease, predicting how SMA will manifest itself and developing relevant treatments become nearly impossible. My research, therefore, focused on identifying significant symptoms in SMA patients, in order to anticipate the onset of SMA. By understanding the symptoms and the trajectory of the disease, my hope is that drug therapies can be introduced at an early stage and doctors can prevent SMA from taking over a child's body.
Name Stella Li Gender N/A School name Byram Hills High School School city Armonk Category Cellular and Molecular Biology Project title Differential effects of snake neurotoxin, taipoxin, on the endocytosis of vesicle membrane proteins Summary Synaptic vesicle (SV) endocytosis occurs in all nerve cells. Impairment of endocytosis is linked to disorders such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, and epilepsy. Resting nerve cells contain numerous synaptic vesicles, or membrane sacs, full of chemical signalers; SV endocytosis describes the recycling process critical for maintaining vesicle reserves so neural communication can continue. As nerve activity increases, more efficient pathways are recruited to assist recycling. This study explored the effects of a snake neurotoxin, taipoxin, which inhibits pathways of endocytosis, leading to a blockage of neural communication. Our novel results demonstrate that a particular endocytosis pathway is unaffected by taipoxin in mouse nerve cells. We propose taipoxin could be used to isolate this pathway of endocytosis. Further research utilizing taipoxin in this manner could provide insight into the nervous system's workings and suggest therapies for diseases linked to endocytosis impairment.
Name Jeremy Ma Gender Male School name Byram Hills High School School city Armonk Category Behavioral and Social Sciences Project title Perceptual interactions in depth perception: A quantitative EEG study Summary My study aims to investigate the way we perceive depth, specifically the interactions between pictorial (two dimensional) and stereo (three dimensional) depth. In my novel study, I created my own red-green 2D pictures to enable subjects to perceive 3D depth. Utilizing EEG technology, I located regions of the brain that responded to different types of depth individually and simultaneously. I also created a variable called relative peak strength to quantify and compare the amount of neural activity. I suggest that 2D and 3D depth each play unique roles when perceiving depth, as they were processed in different streams of the brain. I also suggest 2D and 3D depth are combined to create one whole impression of depth, where 2D depth can supplement 3D depth. This study clarifies how the visual world is reconstructed in our brain, while shedding light on the cause of visual fatigue in stereoscopic displays.
Name Kylie Roslin Gender Female School name Byram Hills High School School city Armonk Category Medicine and Health Project title Exploring the role of herpes simplex virus-1 antibodies in anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis Summary Anti-N-Methyl-D-Aspartate receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis is a neurologic autoimmune disorder that causes acute inflammation. When the immune system attacks the NMDA receptor, receptor function declines. This results in decreased cognition, as well as psychosis, and disfunction in the autonomic nervous system. 55% of cases follow a tumor, usually in the ovary. In order to fight the tumor, the body produces antibodies. In some cases, these antibodies cross the blood-brain barrier, causing the NMDARs to develop autoimmunity. I hypothesized that the herpes simplex virus could trigger the development of autoimmunity in cases without a tumor. Previous literature found the presence of NMDAR antibodies in patients with herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE), a severe disease that develops from the herpes virus. I determined that the herpes virus could initiate autoimmunity against the NMDA receptor by using enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) to calculate HSV-1 IgG antibody concentrations in children with and without anti-NMDARE.
Name Rebecca Cadenhead Gender Female School name Dobbs Ferry High School School city Dobbs Ferry Category Cellular and Molecular Biology Project title The Effects of the Gut Microbiota on Gene Expression Related to Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus Summary In recent decades, people in many developed countries have begun to abuse antibiotics. Though antibiotics are effective killers of bacterial infections, they also have the unintended consequence of killing of cells in the microbiome -- the bacteria that coexist with our human cells. The microbiome aids in various metabolic functions, from digestion to immune regulation. It's no surprise, then, that the overuse of antibiotics has been accompanied by an increase in chronic disease associated with problems in the immune system, including Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). My project investigated how antibiotics affected gene expression associated with T1D. Through analyzing the tissue of mice with diabetes, I found that antibiotics lowered gene expression associated with immune function, but supplanting those mice with more microbes increased gene expression again. I also found that the gene Runx1 might be a part of a system causing the connection between the microbiome and T1D.
Name Grace Wang Gender Female School name Edgemont High School School city Scarsdale Category Genomics Project title Secondary Structure Formation at NEGR1 Affects DNA Stability at Common Fragile Site 1C Summary Common fragile sites (CFSs) are segments of the human genome that are extremely difficult to replicate, intrinsic to all human chromosomes. Under replicative stress CFSs may become mutated or break, which can lead to the development of tumors, due to a tendency to form secondary structures (SS), non-standard DNA formations. This study examined SS formation at the NEGR1 gene in CFS FRA1C, whose alteration has been linked to the development of obesity and numerous cancers. Using Mfold, a program that returns values reflecting SS stability, we found a major increase in highly stable SSs within NEGR1 compared to adjacent DNA. Although many scientists think repetitive AT sequences contribute to SS formation, we found little correlation between these events. We concluded that DNA sequences in NEGR1 cause fragility in the surrounding DNA and AT repeats are not directly associated with SSs formation, but may have a generalized impact on CFS fragility.
Name Michael Winitch Gender Male School name Edgemont High School School city Scarsdale Category Earth and Planetary Project title SIGNIFICANCE OF ATREIPUS AND DIGIT I IN EARLY DINOSAUR PHYLOGENY Summary A problem that has perplexed researchers is the Atreipus-Grallator complex. This complex describes similar tridactyl imprints from the late Triassic era. Grallator and Atreipus samples were collected from the Eastern coast of North America. Drawings were taken of these footprints and then digitized. The images were compared to each other and Triassic creatures to find a possible footprint maker. An analysis of Grallator footprints revealed the presence of a digit I, only present in deeply impressed tracks meaning that the digit I was higher on the creature's ankle. However, an analysis of Atreipus tracks revealed no digit I, regardless of the depth. Grallator retained the primitive condition of a long digit I, Atreipus has a derived condition of a reduced digit I. The only known Triassic creature with a reduced digit I is silesaurus, which is an appropriate maker for Atreipus while Grallator is consistent with an early Saurischian dinosaur.
Name Neil Khurana Gender Male School name Fayetteville-Manlius High School School city Manlius Category Medicine and Health Project title Discovery of Highly-Correlated Circadian Oscillations in Oral MicroRNA and Microbiome Levels Using Next Generation Sequencing of Human Saliva: Implications for Human Health and Disease Summary The proper regulation of sleep in humans is critical for normal mental and physical health in humans. Many organ systems exhibit fluctuations in their functional state related to sleep-wake cycles (circadian rhythm). This pattern is disrupted in sleep disorders and many chronic brain disorders including autism, depression, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Current biomarkers evaluating the presence of circadian rhythm disturbance, including melatonin, cortisol and body temperature, require 24-hr (around the clock) measurements, which is a highly tedious process. This study is the first to identify saliva-based biomarkers (miRNAs and microbes) using next-generation sequencing, that are highly correlated with circadian rhythms. The ease of collection of saliva makes the use of saliva-based markers as a potentially important rapid diagnostic and monitoring tool for diseases associated with circadian rhythm disruption. These biomarkers may also provide the basis for targeted miRNA and microbiome therapy for normalizing circadian rhythm patterns in affected patients.
Name Jasmine Bayrooti Gender Female School name Hackley School School city Tarrytown Category Mathematics Project title Applications of Algebraic Topology to Video Compression and Random Number Generator Classification Summary I developed software that combines a branch of mathematics called Algebraic Topology with machine learning techniques to better understand the 'shape' of high dimensional data and applied that to video compression and classification of random number generators. For video compression, my software helps one find a low dimensional submanifold on which a dense portion of the pixels in the video will reside. By storing points in a much lower dimension, this has the potential of decreasing storage space needed for videos. For the second application, I similarly created software to analyze two point clouds produced from different random number generators with the goal of classifying the generators using topological features and machine learning techniques. I found that even with a low-dimensional analysis I was able to distinguish between a small class of random number generators, which is a discovery that could bear significant implications for cybersecurity, medicine, and finance.
Name Chanha Kim Gender Male School name Harrison High School School city Harrison Category Cellular and Molecular Biology Project title The Role of GAMMA DELTA T cells in Human Intestinal Transplantation Summary In Ancient Greece, a Chimera was a mythological beast consisting of parts from different animals: head of a lion and the body of a goat. But, don't expect to see these fire-breathing monsters coming out of laboratories! In the medical world, chimera, or chimerism, refers to the co-existence of cells from two organisms: donor and the recipient. I particularly focused on the chimerism of cells called Gamma delta T cells -- long-neglected immune cells from this field. From reading many different journal articles, I hypothesized that these Gamma delta T cells may play major roles in the human intestinal transplantation and studying the chimerism of Gamma delta T cells was ideal to support my hypothesis. Chimerism data was obtained by analyzing the intestinal tissues of the transplant patient. For the first time, my research proved the existence of Gamma delta T cell chimerism and Gamma delta T cells can be essential in promoting successful transplantation.
Name Brian Siegel Gender Male School name Harrison High School School city Harrison Category Physics Project title Increasing Absorbance and Coupling of Visible Light Using Hyperbolic Metamaterials on Polystyrene Spheres Summary Metamaterials are nanoscopic structures that use repeating patterns of optical material to increases control over the direction light moves in. An inexpensive addition of small styrofoam spheres underneath the layers can increase absorbance by making the curved path the light travels into the metamaterial easier. The experiment tested to what extent the metamaterials on the spheres increased the absorbance of light. Two metamaterials were deposited on glass slides, a curved metamaterial on the spheres and a flat metamaterial solely on the slide. Light was shined at the hyperbolic metamaterials to measure the extent light was absorbed. The results showed a significant difference in the percent of light absorbed in each metamaterial, demonstrating that the curved metamaterial absorbed more light than the flat metamaterial. This experiment was able to provide a cost-effective method for improving the efficiency of novel devices, allowing for the creation of significantly more efficient solar panels.
Name Hannah Scotch Gender Female School name Hastings High School School city Hastings-on-Hudson Category Animal Sciences Project title Secondary Transcription Factors of glb-34 in C. elegans Chemosensory BAG Neurons Summary Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, caused by the inability to sense high blood CO2 levels, is the leading cause of death in the US for infants zero to one year old. One factor responsible for this inability in mammals is Pet1, which is similar to ETS-5 in Caenorhabditis elegans. Without ETS-5, the worms still respond to CO2, suggesting the presence of a co-factor that works with ETS-5 to facilitate CO2 sensing. My goal was to find and characterize this factor. I mutated worms expressing Green Fluorescent Protein, looking for animals with dimmer expression. I imaged mutated and normal worms to compare average pixel brightness. Three mutants were found, one which has a mutation in transgene expression, not in the factor. The others present possible mutations of the unknown factor. My results provide a template to characterize these mutations, leading to a greater understanding of how C. elegans and humans detect CO2.
Name Rebecca Marcus Gender Female School name Mamaroneck High School School city Mamaroneck Category Animal Sciences Project title Immune Costs of Breeding in Superb Starlings Summary Reproduction is a necessary but costly activity for organisms. I studied reproductive stress in birds called Superb starlings, where some individuals reproduce and parent offspring and others assist. I studied immune function as a measure of stress, examining white blood cell characteristics of helpers, mothers, and fathers. I identified types of blood cells by looking at blood samples under a microscope. Mothers, who provide the most for offspring, increased in blood cell characteristics which indicate stress. Fathers and helpers showed no significant change in immunological stress. I also observed a measure of immune strength, but these results did not correlate with the amount of offspring care. This project shows a direct link between the amount of offspring care and physiological stress, which informs reproductive decisions. Further research may be necessary to understand what, other than offspring care, was changing other immune characteristics.
Name Marina Tosi Gender Female School name Mamaroneck High School School city Mamaroneck Category Medicine and Health Project title The Female Athlete Triad: A Comparison of Knowledge and Risk in Adolescent and Young Adult Figure Skaters, Dancers and Runners Summary The Female Athlete Triad (Triad) is a disorder commonly found in young women participating in sports that stress leanness. The Triad is defined as a low energy availability (taking in fewer calories than exerting), a menstrual irregularity (skipping or having frequent periods), and low bone mineral density (stress fracture). My research aimed to compare knowledge of the Triad among three types of athletes: figure skating, dancing, and running. In addition, possible Triad risk among these athletes was evaluated using a novel risk assessment tool. It was found that dancers were more likely to be at risk of the Triad than figure skaters and runners. Furthermore, the dancing population was least likely to have high knowledge of the Triad. Awareness of the Triad in all sports was alarmingly low, while risk was very high. There is a pressing need to raise awareness of the Triad in these sports.
Name Henry Sloan Gender Male School name Nyack High School School city Upper Nyack Category Computer Science Project title User-Tailored Privacy by Design Summary My research involves learning about the effects of adaptive privacy features on different users in a fake Facebook interface. To a real user, this could mean anything from a (privacy dinosaur) suggesting they remove a friend, to the system automatically blocking people. For obvious reasons, this will have different effects on different users. Moreover, different adaptations might have drastically different perceptions between users. We plan to show differently adaptive interfaces to participants, while concurrently using a survey to discover their (privacy profile), or their privacy attitude, based on what features they use, and are aware of. We also find their opinions on each of these adaptations, or lack of adaptations. This study will show us the effects of different adaptations on different users, while also informing future design decisions on privacy adaptations.
Name Sarah Hoffman Gender Female School name Ossining High School School city Ossining Category Medicine and Health Project title Exacerbated Alzheimer's Disease Pathology in Female Hippocampus and Frontal Cortex of Tg6799 Mice and Humans Relative to Males Summary Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that impairs brain function and memory. Past studies show that women are at greater risk for developing AD than men; however, a limited body of research has explored how AD pathologies differ between sexes. Thus, my study investigated AD-related protein expression and immune cell activation in post-mortem human and mouse brains. Results indicate that women have more severe AD-related protein accumulation than men in post mortem human tissue. Additionally, this study found that female AD mice have far more severe pathologies than males in two specific brain regions. This research may aid in the design of future AD research studies and lead to the elucidation of a specific relationship between AD and sex, potentiating the development of novel sex-specific AD treatments.
Name Skyler Jones Gender Female School name Ossining High School School city Ossining Category Chemistry Project title Large Polaron Formation as a Charge Carrier Protection Mechanism in MAPbBr3 and CsPbBr3 Perovskite Crystals Summary Perovskite crystals, a promising inexpensive solar cell semiconductor, are capable of efficiently converting sunlight to usable electricity. Perovskites have unique protection mechanisms, allowing them to maintain high efficiencies despite having structural defects. This study measured the structural dynamics of two perovskites, MAPbBr3 and CsPbBr3, aiming to identify the protection mechanism large polaron formation. Laser spectroscopy first revealed that large polaron formation occurs in both perovskites, but more effectively in MAPbBr3. As MAPbBr3 and CsPbBr3 have different structural formulas and room-temperature phase structures, this study next investigated which structural difference is responsible for the varied large polaron formation between the two perovskites. Temperature-dependent spectroscopy in CsPbBr3 revealed that large polaron formation dynamics are determined by coupling between the crystal's center cations and its phase structure, not exclusively one or the other. These findings mark an important development to understanding perovskite charge protection, which is essential to developing optimal solar cell technology.
Name Catherine Kamp Gender Female School name Ossining High School School city Ossining Category Environmental Science Project title Ubiquitous Microplastic Pollution found in Tributaries of the Hudson River: A GIS and Field based approach Summary Microplastics have pervasively contaminated both freshwater and marine bodies of water and pose significant ecological risks. Using a GIS approach, this study investigates patters of microplastic abundance as a function of land use (the percentage of developed land) and human population density within five watersheds of tributaries in the Hudson River Valley of New York State. Microplastic abundance was estimated via field sampling and lab processing; all samples were found to contain microplastics, regardless of urbanization, suggesting the ubiquity of microplastic pollution in the Hudson River. GIS analysis allowed for a deeper insight into microplastic abundance at watershed level including tributaries with various levels of urbanization and land use patterns. This study offers a novel lens on the microplastic problem in the Hudson River Valley and highlights the extent to which local tributaries are saturated with this pollutant.
Name Emma San Martin Gender Female School name Ossining High School School city Ossining Category Bioengineering Project title A Novel Method for Modeling Metabolic Energy Expenditure as a Function of Percentage Normal Walking Speed for Transtibial Amputees Summary MEE (metabolic energy expenditure) is the all the energy used by the body during an activity. I wanted to compare MEE patterns between able-bodied people and transtibial amputees walking at different speeds, since energy prediction is important for designing comfortable, efficient prostheses. This study tested a novel modeling method, comparing values for MEE to speeds expressed as percentages of each participant's preferred walking speed. This model was tested across able-bodied and amputee groups. Normal speed was assessed for each participant and then multiplied by five coefficients to obtain unique speeds for each participant; MEE was measured at each speed using a respiratory mask while participants walked on a treadmill. When analyzed, MEE increased with speed for both groups and amputee MEE was significantly higher overall. In the future, this modeling method may be applied to prosthetic design, physical therapy, and robotics, and is the next step in patient-specific energy modeling.
Name Jillian Harrison Gender Female School name Pelham Memorial High School School city Pelham Category Behavioral and Social Sciences Project title Diversity Versus Representation: Racial Friendship Networks as a Social Cue in Interracial Impression Formation Summary Before meeting a person of another race, people use pieces of information (cues) to predict how they will be perceived. One cue is the racial makeup of an interaction partner's friend group. For Black individuals, seeing White and Black friends in a White person's friend group improves expectations for interaction with that person. Research has not addressed if this is because Black individuals see the representation of their own race or diversity in general. I examined Black participants' expectations for interaction with a White person with all White friends, Black and White friends (diversity with representation), or Asian, Hispanic, and White friends (diversity without representation). Contrary to my prediction that representation would be more effective than diversity alone, there was no difference between the two. This study is the first to show that racial friendship diversity (with or without representation) is sufficient to improve a person's expectations for interracial interaction.
Name Nikhil Bose Gender Male School name Pittsford Sutherland High School School city Pittsford Category Physics Project title Compensation for Self-Focusing on the OMEGA EP Laser by Use of Frequency Conversion Summary Due to self-focusing effects, the energy of the laser beams on OMEGA EP, one of the two chief laser systems at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, tends to concentrate at certain points where there is a high risk of damaging many of the optical components in the laser system. So, the energy in the beam must be lowered well below OMEGA EP's maximum design energy to prevent the risk of damage from becoming too high. My project involved designing a frequency conversion crystal to more evenly spread the energy across the laser beam to compensate for this effect. I showed that the use of a 4.5 cm deuterated potassium dihydrogen phosphate frequency conversion crystal detuned by 0.55 milliradians could allow the energy of the beam to be increased by up to 10% without increasing the risk of damage to the optical components on the OMEGA EP laser system.
Name Alyssa Klee Gender Female School name Somers High School School city Lincolndale Category Cellular and Molecular Biology Project title The Identification of the Binding Sites of PD-1, B7-1, and Atezolizumab on PD-L1 as a Strategy to Reduce Toxicities of Novel Immunotherapies Summary My project investigated binding sites between white blood cells (WBC) and cancer cells to formulate safer immunotherapies. When cancer cells expressing the PD-L1 protein bind to the PD-1 receptor, a protein on white blood cells, they deactivate WBCs. This prevents the WBCs from attacking cancer. Placing an antibody between the cancer cell and the WBC prevents the proteins from binding so the immune system remains active and attacks cancer. It was recently discovered that B7-1, another protein on WBCs, binds to PD-L1 in an overlapping region with the PD-1 binding site. I hypothesized that antibodies binding to this overlapping region could yield increased WBC activation with greater autoimmune side effects. In my study, I discovered the non-overlapping region, where B7-1 binds alone. New antibodies can be created that bind to this non-overlapping region, blocking only one pathway instead of two and resulting in fewer immunotherapy side effects.
Name Jeana Chun Gender Female School name Spackenkill High School School city Poughkeepsie Category Cellular and Molecular Biology Project title The Role of Necroptosis in the Development of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms Summary Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a disease characterized by aortic dilation and primarily affects older patients worldwide. When left untreated, AAAs rupture, which is a serious problem because AAA rupture is the 13th leading cause of death in the United States. Currently, there is no pharmacological treatment, and even surgery is only effective on large aneurysms. In this study, we broaden the field of study for AAA by exploring the role of necroptosis, cell death regulated by receptor interacting protein 1 (RIP1) and 3 (RIP3), in the development of AAA. We demonstrate the protective effects of necroptosis inhibition through analysis of Rip3-/- mice induced with AAA, which we show to have less inflammation and elastin degradation. We also examine macrophages and offer a novel connection between macrophagal necroptosis and the degradation of the vascular wall in AAA. Ultimately, we propose the necroptosis inhibition in AAA as a potential treatment.
Name Jessica Cohen Gender Female School name Spackenkill High School School city Poughkeepsie Category Materials Science Project title Synthesis of a Bifunctional Metal (Fe, Ni, Co) Phthalocyanine/Tin (IV) Oxide/Carbon Nanotube Electrocatalyst for the Aqueous CO2 Reduction to Carbon Monoxide and Formate at Different Potentials Respectively Summary Excess carbon dioxide harms the environment because of its links to global warming and ocean acidification. Carbon capture and utilization (CCU) methods can combat human carbon dioxide contribution. CCU methods include carbon dioxide absorption and carbon dioxide reduction. For my project, I chose to focus on carbon dioxide reduction using electricity. My research focuses on a new type of catalyst for carbon dioxide electroreduction that converts carbon dioxide into two industrially-useful carbon-based products, carbon monoxide and formate, by changing the applied electric voltage. I combined two types of previously tested catalysts into one hybrid catalyst on a carbon nanotube framework. Among the hybrid catalysts I investigated, the best was composed of a cobalt complex and tin (IV) oxide which efficiently converted carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide and formate at different voltages as desired. Swapping the cobalt complex with other similar iron or nickel complexes did not work well.
Name Rory O'Brien Gender Male School name Yorktown High School School city Yorktown Heights Category Medicine and Health Project title The Effects of Spinal Cord Lesion on Motor Cortex Activity in Mice Summary Spinal Cord Injury is a disability that affects over 282,000 people in the United States, and there is currently no cure as neurons, once severed, cannot be reattached surgically. It has been shown that in an injury to one side of the spine, there can be some recovery if neurons from the undamaged side project across the midline and connect to the damaged side, leaving one side of the brain in control of both sides of the body. Research into treatments to improve this recovery have used methods that do not take into account activity in the brain itself, which has limited the development of treatments. In order to rectify this, I developed a suite of methods to view activity in the brain and correlate it with the movement of the body. This can be used to gain new insights into possible therapies.

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