BEDFORD, N.Y. -- Bedford student Anna-Sophia Boguraev is one of five finalists in the first-ever Genes in Space competition sponsored by Boeing, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), Math for America (MƒA), and miniPCR.
The innovative contest called for students in grades seven through 12 to design an experiment to solve a real-life space exploration problem through DNA analysis. The winning experiment will be performed aboard the International Space Station (ISS) using a miniPCR machine.
Boguraev, 16, a Fox Lane High School student, aims to test the effect of microgravity and cosmic radiation on the immune system in space. The budding biochemist has loved science since elementary school when she did a science fair project that used a blender to extract DNA from household vegetables.
The five finalist teams will receive mentoring from R&D scientists from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who will help refine the experiments and make them feasible for space.
“Innovative competitions like this help inspire and motivate the next generation of engineers, scientists and astronauts,” said Scott Copeland, manager for ISS Research, Systems & Specialty Engineering at Boeing.
“The intelligence and ingenuity of these students is encouraging for the future generation that will keep humanity exploring the far reaches of our solar system and beyond. The Boeing team is proud of its role in helping deliver these excellent experiments to the space station.”
Boeing, CASIS, MƒA, and miniPCR launched the contest to foster creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking among young innovators bridging the biological and physical sciences. The finalists were chosen from a competitive group of 330 applications from across the country. The proposed experiments cover a wide variety of topics – from the genetic code of alien life to the changes in astronauts’ microbiomes before, during, and after a trip to space.
For more information about the Genes in Space competition, finalists, and the honorable mentions, visit: www.genesinspace.org .
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