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Singapore & India Teams Enter Finals Of Google Science Fair

A 15-year-old girl from India and an all-girl trio from Singapore have made it to the finals of the 2013 Google Science Fair.

| July 1, 2013 | Academia

AsianScientist (Jul. 1, 2013) – A 15-year-old girl from India and an all-girl trio from Singapore have made it to the finals of the 2013 Google Science Fair.

Shrishti Asthana, 15, from The Millennium School in Mohali, India, is the only Indian student to be chosen for the finals, which will be held at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, on September 23 later this year.

Her project, entitled: “Solar Light Assisted nanoZnO Photo Catalytic Mineralization- The Green Technique for the Degradation of Detergents,” proposes to use zinc oxide nanoparticles to assist in the degradation of detergents using visible and solar light.

Asthana wrote that she was inspired by a school field trip to a Ludhiana, which is also known as the industrial town of Punjab for its woolen and the dyeing industry.

“What caught my attention was the huge amount of waste of the factories that was thrown into the nearby drains…. I thought about the enormous amount of detergent water that leaves our houses and causes huge pollution in our cities. The treatment of this detergent water might be possible in big cities but my country, India, is a land of towns and villages. I finally decided to look for a potential GREEN method for the degradation of detergent water,” she wrote.

google science fair 2013 singapore

A second team, consisting of an all-girl trio – Yi Xi Kang, 16; Tricia Lim, 15; and Samantha Kwok, 16 – from Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary) in Singapore, proposes to explore the regressive properties of female sex hormones in hepatic fibrosis, a scarring process caused by liver inflammation.

The project, entitled “Efficacy of Estrogens and Progesterone in Hepatic Fibrosuppression,” aims to find the lowest dose of hormones for estrogen therapy, potentially mitigating its side effects.

“This project aims to find the hormone most potent in its regressive properties in rat hepatic stellate cell (HSC) cultures, to obtain the lowest effective dosage and hence, reduce side effects of therapy. We treated activated HSC-T6 cells with hormones, and quantified fibrotic markers to to determine treatment efficacy. Our research could provide insight on treatment modalities for potential estrogen-deficient patients,” the Singapore team wrote.

The two teams will compete with 13 other finalists for the grand prize of a ten-day trip to the Galápagos Islands, $50,000 in scholarships, and other prizes.

First started in 2011, the Google Science Fair competition is open to students in the 13-18 age group to develop science projects and share their findings online.

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Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine; Photos: Google Science Fair.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

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