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News Releases

REF NO.: 156

SUBJECT: Local students go “freestyle” in biotech competition
DATE: April 23, 2007

Can eucalyptus make you breathe easier? Can Sea Monkeys help in drug research? Do robins know something about dogberries that we don’t know? For the answer to these and other questions, the public and media are invited to visit the Sanofi-Aventis Biotech Challenge students on Thursday, April 26. from 2 – 4 p.m. at the NRC-Institute for Ocean Technology.
            The Sanofi-Aventis Biotech Challenge gives Newfoundland and Labrador students an opportunity to “freestyle” in science. Students choose their area of research and design their own experiments. With experiments designed around using mussel shells to clean up pollution to looking at the benefit of Omega-3 for prevention of Alzheimer’s, local students will participate in the ninth annual Sanofi-Aventis Biotech Challenge from April 25 – 26 at the NRC-Institute for Ocean Technology.
            Held each year in 13 locations across Canada, the competition is part of a national campaign to promote science education and job opportunities in the growing field of biotechnology. Students are also given the opportunity to work with a mentor who is currently working in their field of interest and to compete for over $5,000 in prizes. In Newfoundland and Labrador, this event is hosted by the GENESIS Group, the commercialization arm of Memorial University.
            Jonathan Mong and Stephen Ivany of Holy Heart of Mary High School, are making cheese with a Newfoundland twist. They are using the enzymes from fish stomachs to see if they can produce cheese. The rennet, which contains the enzymes, usually comes form cattle stomachs.
            Two Mount Pearl Intermediate students, Nicole Morris and Deidre Halliday, are experimenting with an alternative to Styrofoam plates. They want to have cake and eat the plate too. Their task is to produce an edible, biodegradable plate that can stand up under normal use.
Avineet Sekhon and Rebecca Hollett, of St. Paul’s Intermediate, want to make French fries healthier. They are looking at the benefits of using olive, seal and fish oils to make French fries.

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