A senior sweepstakes winner of the 2011 Tri-Valley Science & Engineering Fair (TVSEF) sponsored by LLNL in March won a special award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF). The Intel Fair was held in Los Angeles, Calif., May 8-13.
Chistina Ren, a ninth grade student from Monte Vista High School in Danville, was recognized for her project, "Ways to Enhance Cell Regeneration," by the U.S. Army with an award of $3,000 in U.S. Savings Bonds.
Ren's project explored whether two promising organic substances, resveratrol (used to help some diabetics) and deer antler velvet (a traditional herbal medicine), would promote segment regeneration in California black worms (found in muddy water and often used for cell-growth studies). Through careful comparative tests and measurements, Ren discovered the concentrations of both substances that maximized cell repair, yielding growth rates far beyond that of the worms used as controls. Applications to cell regeneration in other animals, including people, are possible (diabetes treatment and wound recovery are simple examples). Ren's project has potential applications for treating military wounds.
The Intel ISEF is a premier global science competition for students in grades 9-12. More than 1,540 high school students from 63 countries, regions, and territories displayed their independent research this year. Twenty-five percent of those competing in the Intel fair receive awards. For more information, go to the Society for Science Website.