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STS finalists bound for Washington

Forty vie for top awards in 2013 Intel Science Talent Search.

The finalists will visit Washington, D.C., March 7–13 to see the White House and other national landmarks, present their research in a poster session at the headquarters of the National Geographic Society and attend a black-tie awards gala at the National Building Museum.
“We commend the 40 Intel Talent Search finalists on their successes so far and look forward to watching them progress not only during the finals in Washington, but also in their future careers,” says Elizabeth Marincola, publisher of Science News and president of Society for Science & the Public, which has operated the competition since 1942. Intel has sponsored the program for 15 years.

Many past Science Talent Search finalists have gone on to distinguished research careers. Alumni have won a total of seven Nobel Prizes, two Fields Medals, five National Medals of Science and 11 MacArthur Foundation Fellowships.

Young researchers from 21 states have made it to the final stage of the 2013 Intel Science Talent Search, earning the chance to compete for a total of $630,000 in awards. The finalists were chosen from more than 1,700 entries. “This year’s ... finalists are presenting a wide range of research, from optimizing algae oil for biofuel to developing a new treatment for blood cancer,” says Wendy Hawkins, executive director of the Intel Foundation. “It’s exciting for the future of innovation because the U.S. needs these 40 high school seniors, and others like them, to question, explore and help solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.”

Last year’s top award went to Nithin Tumma of Fort Gratiot, Mich., who did research on a protein that helps cancer evade the body’s immune system. Also honored were Andrey Sushko of Richland, Wash., who created a tiny motor just 7 millimeters across that draws its power from the surface tension of water, and Mimi Yen of New York City, who studied genetic influences on mating behavior in the worm Caenorhabditis elegans.

By Matt Crenson