By Ali Hagen
They found a passion for STEM at different ages and followed different paths, but Alexandra Diracles and Melissa Halfon found each other at just the right moment. Little did they know at Startup Weekend EDU in January 2014, their collaboration would continue and evolve into Vidcode, a remarkable start-up company that teaches tween and teen girls to code through video editing.
By Heather Burkhart
The Westchester Science and Engineering Fair (WESEF) is known as the most competitive science fair in New York. The 2015 competition, accommodating over 420 high school students from Westchester and Putnam counties, showcased projects stemming from subjects such as biochemistry, microbiology, environmental science and engineering. Incredible scientific progress was made, but only 21 students received top awards. We got in touch with Stephanie Becker, one of the finalists who was selected to attend the Intel ISEF 2015 competition, based on her work with Neuropeptide-Y, for a Q&A.
First off, could you tell me a little about your work with molecular and cell biology that you presented in the WESEF 2015 competition?
The research project I presented at WESEF this year revolved around a protein-like molecule called Neuropeptide-Y (NPY) and its effects in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a chronic relapsing condition mediated by an abnormal immune response. My study blocked NPY's Y1 and Y2 receptors using small-molecule antagonists in an IBD mouse model in order to determine if this attenuated IBD pathology and these pathological changes were associated with behavioral and biochemical changes.
I revealed that blocking the Y1 receptor led to increased IBD pathology, while blocking the Y2 receptor led to decreased IBD pathology, and that these pathological changes were associated with biochemical changes. Combined, these results identified NPY Y2 receptor antagonism as a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of IBD at a pathological and biochemical level.
9/1/2015 2 Comments
By Heather Burkhart
One of the leading challenges among the STEM community is the subject of alluring the masses to the enthralling world of science. Deanne Bell, co-host of the television show “Make Me a Millionaire Inventor” and founder of Future Engineers has accepted that challenge with an unrivalled confidence and the capacity to back it up. With a background in mechanical engineering and public speaking, Deanne has what it takes to get students pumped up about building, and eager to get creating.
Meet our Scientista Spotlights -- current-day women in STEM and women from science history -- and find your role model! Read opinion editorials and history pieces to get additional inspiration.
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