Three Oaks students win biotech research competition

Staff ~ The Journal Pioneer
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CHARLOTTETOWN - A pair of Grade 12 students from Three Oaks Senior High School are headed to Canada's National Biotech Competition.

Scott Dewar and Mark Townsend's research won them the top prize at the 2010 Sanofi-Aventis BioTalent Challenge (SABC) held recently April 16 at UPEI.

The pair looked at the relationship between the chemical makeup of pin-cherry trees and their resistance to the blackknot fungus.

"Every year, this contest allows some of the most gifted high school scientists to carry out very interesting research with the assistance of mentors from the Island's biotechnology sector," said Innovation and Advanced Learning Minister Allan Campbell. "The work being carried out offers a lot of young Islanders the chance to see the opportunity for both careers and learning in biotech."

Townsend and Dewar, who won fourth place in the 2009 SABC competition, will go to national competition April 26. The students will split a $2,500 prize.

Both plan to attend Dalhousie University next year and to study engineering and biotechnology.

Under the SABC contest, high school students work with mentors to carry out research projects of the student's own design. The contest has been held on the Island since 2005.

Prizes were also awarded to the following:

• Second place, $2,000 - Sarah Neima, Colonel Grey High School - Integrated system for the production of microalgal biodiesel.

• Third Place, $1,500 - Emma Trivett, Charlottetown Rural High School - Avermectin iInteractions with P-Glycoprotein.

• Fourth Place, $1,000 - Scott Bray, Josh, Derasp and Adam A'Hearn, Three Oaks High School - Effects of fecal production from mussels on the Island fisheries industry.

• The School Appreciation Prize of $2,000 went to Three Oaks High School.

Organizations: Dalhousie University, Colonel Grey High School

Geographic location: CHARLOTTETOWN, Iceland, Canada

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