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Priyanka Chopra, Angela Jung and Esther Lee, all seniors at Jericho High School, were recently named as three of the 300 semifinalists in the 68th Intel Science Talent Search. The semifinalists of the 68th Intel Science Talent Search were chosen from among 1,608 entrants representing 36 states, the District of Columbia and accredited overseas schools in India and South Korea. Each of the 300 semifinalists, as well as their schools, will receive awards of $1,000 for this honor.

From this group of 300 semifinalists, 40 finalists will be chosen to attend the Science Talent Institute in Washington, D.C. for a week in early March. During their trip to Washington, the finalists will participate in a final judging process and share $530,000 in scholarships. The top prize of a $100,000 scholarship will be announced at a black tie banquet and awards ceremony at the Mellon Auditorium on March 10, 2009.

Priyanka Chopra proposed that, "Nitric oxide (NO), when induced by morphine, would produce neuroprotection in a human neuroblastoma cell line, when tested with compounds that produce intracellular oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. Estrogen, having similar chemical properties to morphine, was examined to induce NO. Ubiquitin-proteasome complex with intracellular proteins was regulated by the presence of NO. Experiments were performed examining the following: neural cell viability and morphology, gene specific mRNA levels via semi-quantitative RT-PCR, protein functional assay, NO release via the Apollo 4000 real-time amperometric detector. Effects of morphine and estrogen were found to induce the production of NO in human neuroblastoma cells. Rotenone, which induces oxidative stress, increases the expression of the proteasomal catalytic X subunit and the activity of 20S proteasome, is inhibited by the combined effect of morphine and estrogen via NO. Morphine and estrogen significantly increase free ubiquitin, suggesting that they are inducing neuroprotection by reducing the amount of oxidized proteins targeted for degradation. This serves as a foundation for future work concerning the development of ligands for morphine's mu3 opiate receptor in an effort to prevent cellular death associated with neurodegenerative diseases."

Angela Jung proposed that, "The human immune system is capable of mounting antibody responses against malignant tumors. Using a unique fusion partner cell line and peripheral blood lymphocytes (from breast cancer patients) two human antibodies, 27.B1 and 27.F7, were isolated and used to determine how they would bind to different human cancer cell lines as well as normal tissue. It was found that both antibodies although being different in terms of epitope and affinity, react with the same protein target, present in cancer cells but absent in normal cells. The abundance of this protein in breast cancer cells and its specific-binding with 27.B1 and 27.F7 were quantified using protein electrophoresis, Western blotting, and fluorescent microscopy. The 27.B1 and 27.F7 antibodies were the detection tools used to target and identify G-protein Interacting Protein, C domain (GIPC1) as a breast cancer antigen.

This study provided the first evidence that the over expression of GIPC1 occurs in breast cancer cell proliferation. However, further investigation must be done to determine the link between the functions of GIPC1 and other proteins in cancer cells. Also, further studies should be conducted to clarify the role of GIPC1 in carcinogenesis."

Esther Lee proposed that, "The objective of my experiment was to sustain the release of lidocaine, which has a half-life of two hours in most patients, through the following drug delivery system: thermoresponsive hydrogel. The drug delivery device was thermoreversible hydrogel with the sol-gel transition temperature at 37°C. By mixing the pluronic-alginate and pluronic-CaCl2 solutions at the flow rate of 70mL/min, the impinging jet produced a hydrogel that is ionically crosslinked between the carboxylic groups of alginate and Ca+2 ions of CaCl2. The drug release profile (concentration vs. time) of lidocaine in phosphate buffer of pH 7.2 at 37°C obtained via UV-spectroscopy revealed that the hydrogel successfully prolonged the release of lidocaine up to five days. The efficacy of the hydrogel drug delivery system in maximizing the therapeutic duration of lidocaine can be investigated further via in vivo testing within living organisms."

Dayna Greenstein, Adam Weser, Priya Gandhi, Michael Tischler, Melissa Rudofsky, Liana Mari and David Weiss submitted papers for the competition as well. "We are very proud of the efforts and accomplishments of all our students who submitted research projects to the Intel Science Talent Search," said principal Joseph Prisinzano. "Our science research program continues to attract increasing numbers of students dedicated to pursuing serious and inventive scientific research. We would like to thank the district administration and the board of education for their commitment to providing ongoing support for this outstanding program."


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