CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI, May 17, 2012 /CNW/ - Students from Edmonton and Fort McMurray who brought research on melanoma treatments and harnessing sound-wave energy earned them Silver medals in their respective categories, as well as $500 cash awards from the Manning Innovation Awards at the 51st Canada-Wide Science Fair this week at the University of Prince Edward Island.
Diana Bark, from Edmonton's Old Scona Academic High School and Neesha Persad a Grade 11 student at Lillian Osborne High School, teamed up to investigate treatments related to melanoma, a cancer of melanocytes, the pigment producing cells of the skin.
"Increased levels of the oncoprotein, beta-catenin, promotes tumour cell metastasis. In melanoma, PTEN, a tumour suppressor and negative regulator of the P13K pathway, is inactive or lost. We have determined that the re-introduction of PTEN to metastatic cells decreased active beta-catenin levels, and reduced the migratory and invasive potential of these cells," explained the team during the Science Fair judging.
Usman Kamran, a Grade 12 student from Fort McMurray's Westwood Community School, hates noise, claiming it is a hazardous source of pollution. While abhorring the ramifications of noise, but realizing its potential as an energy source, Kamran sought to develop a means to both deaden noise, and transduce it into a usable form of energy.
"Detailed experiments with acoustic absorbers have inspired suggestive proof of deadened acoustic heating. Not only is this phenomenon detectable, but it can be harvested and utilized via the thermoelectric effect. Noting sound's ubiquitous renewable energy potential, this project introduces a novel method of exploiting one of the world's most underutilized resources," said Kamran.
"Even at the rudimentary stage of these innovative approaches to either solve present-day challenges, or identify potential and opportunity, these projects reflect the curiosity, passion and subsequent innovative research of young minds and epitomize the value and potential of problem-solving creative thinking, which is what we encourage and applaud," said David B. Mitchell, President of the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation.
Usman Kamran and the team of Diana Bark and Neesha Persad were among the approximately 25,000 young Canadians in Grades 7 through 12 who earlier this year competed in regional science fairs across the country. Of these students, 500 Finalists gathered at the 2012 Canada-Wide Science Fair, the showcase event of Youth Science Canada.
The Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation (www.manningawards.ca) introduced its Young Canadian Program in 1992 to recognize innovative Canada-Wide Science Fair projects. Each year a judging team selects eight winning projects, four of which earn $4,500 Manning Young Canadian Innovation Awards and four others earn $500 Manning Innovation Achievement Awards. The eight awards were presented today in Charlottetown at the science fair awards ceremony.
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