Canada vs. United States
Maria Merziotis, after her 3rd place finish at last year's science fair
17 year-old Maria Merziotis won Canada's national science fair by inventing a new method of identifying and treating flu infections:
"It's not the long-sought cure for the common cold but a 17-year-old Ottawa high school student won a national science competition today by developing a novel way of identifying and perhaps even fighting flu infections. Maria Merziotis, a Grade 12 student at Hillcrest High School, won a $5,000 first prize and a chance to take her discovery to an international competition in San Diego next month.
"The flu virus attacks human cells by binding to a compound called sialic acid, or sialyllactose, on the cell surface. Merziotis synthesized a floating form of the acid, which dupes the virus with an alternative attachment site.
"A team of three Toronto Grade 10 students, Jonathan Schneider, Josh Alman and Norman Yau from the University of Toronto School, won the $4,000 second prize for identifying genes that help a plant thrive in salty soil. Vandana Rawal, a 15-year-old from Montreal's Centennial Regional High School, won third place and $3,000 for discovering a human gene variation that may help in dealing with bipolar disorder.
"Health Canada is already looking at Merziotis's work, which offers a new way of identifying, and perhaps even fighting different influenza strains."
So one Canadian teen invented a new way of fighting the flu, another identified genes for thriving in salty soil, and a team of high school sophomores discovered a possible genetic cause of bipolar disorder.
Meanwhile, more Creation Science Fairs are held every year across the United States.
(cross posted at Liberal Avenger and appletree)