Photo - Faye Jong of SMK Batu Lintang Sarawak at ISEF 2014
Four Malaysian students have won recognition at this year's Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles, which included a first place win by 15 year old Nathan Han of Boston for creating a machine learning software tool to detect cancer-causing gene mutations.
The annual global science research competition finals saw more than 1,700 students from 70 countries vying for more than US$5 million worth of awards.
Nathan Han's tool uses data from publicly available databases to examine multiple mutations of the BRCA1 tumour suppressor gene in order to 'teach' his software to differentiate between mutations that cause disease and those that do not. His tool has an 81 percent accuracy rate and could be used to more accurately identify cancer threats from BRCA1 gene mutations. Han received the Gordon E. Moore Award of US$75,000, named in honour of the Intel co-founder and fellow scientist.
From Malaysia, Faye Jong-Sow Fei [Faye Jong] from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Batu Lintang, Kuching, Sarawak received a First Award of US$3,000 in the Environmental Management Category for her project entitled 'Bio-Waste Materials as Eco-Friendly Mordant in Fabric Dye Process.' She has also won the Top Winner of the Best of Category with prizes consisting of US$5,000 cash and US$1,000 cash for her school and the affiliated fair she represents. In addition, Faye Jong walked away with an all-expense-paid trip to attend the European Union Contest for Young Scientists in Warsaw, Poland this August.
Photo - (From left) Nur Hanis; and Nurul Najiha of MRSM Terendak at ISEF 2014
Nurul Najiha Binti Mohd Roslan and Nur Hanis Suriani Binti Mohd Zaini of Mara Junior Science College Terendak, Melaka were awarded a Third Place award of US$1,000 for the Environmental Sciences category and First Place Award of US$500.00 for the Special Award category from Drexel Smart House for their 'New Discovery of Eco Plyfibre via Pineapple Leaf and Recyclable Plastic for Future Sustainability'. Furthermore, Meor Zulhilmi Syahir Ahmad Shohailee from the Tun Syed Sheh Shahabudin Science Secondary Boarding School Pulau Pinang was given a Certificate of Honorable Mention from American Chemical Society for his chemistry project 'Carbonized Pineapple Peel (CPP) Waste as Low Cost Adsorbent for Acid and Reactive Dyes Removal.'
From Singapore, 17 year old Shannon Xinjing Lee received the other Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award of US$50,000 for developing an innovative electrocatalyst that could be used for batteries of the future. Researchers have been looking for ways to make rechargeable zinc-air batteries practical, as they would be safer, lighter in weight, and have six times the energy density of lithium ion batteries, making them ideal for hybrid vehicles. Lee found that her activated carbon catalyst, which she made entirely from carbonized Chinese eggplant, greatly out-performed a more sophisticated commercial catalyst in stability and longevity tests and will be environmentally friendly and inexpensive to produce.
"The world needs more scientists, makers and entrepreneurs to create jobs, drive economic growth and solve pressing global challenges," said Intel Malaysia and Singapore country manager, Prakash Mallya. "Intel believes that young people are the key to innovation, and we hope that these winners inspire more students to get involved in science, technology, engineering and math, the foundation for creativity."
This year's Intel International Science and Engineering Fair featured more than 1,700 young scientists selected from 435 affiliate fairs in more than 70 countries, regions and territories.
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