REGIONAL WINNERS

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Region 1

Plainview Old Bethpage JFK High School - Plainview, NY
Toshiba ExploraVision 2016 Winner, Plainview Old Bethpage JFK HS, NY
Lorna Lewis (District Superintendent), Cindy Johnson (Toshiba), Samantha Frucht, Philip Danziger, Mary Lou O'Donnell (Coach), Grace Smith, Sharon Lasher (Photo credit)
Plainview Old Bethpage JFK HS - Plainview, NY

Intra-Neuromuscular Cellular Regeneration Promoter

Nerve damage and neurodegenerative disorders like Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Multiple Sclerosis are infamous for their incurable nature. Neurons, being the highly specialized cells as they are, undergo virtually no cellular division, rendering reduced or diseased cell populations with no natural method of regeneration or healing. Through the future technology we envision, we aim to improve our ability to apply modern stem cell research towards this problem in an efficient and highly potent manner. Our technology consists of a personalized mesh lattice implant, designed to be surgically inserted into a damaged tissue where it can release biochemical epigenetic factors to promote cell reprogramming into pluripotent stem cells and act as a structural guide for new cell growth. We hope that this technology will not only provide a viable treatment for neurodegeneration, but also serve to alleviate debilitating general tissue damage from injury and disease as well.

Project website: http://dev.nsta.org/evwebs/4804b/

Region 2

Montgomery Blair High School - Silver Spring, MD
Toshiba ExploraVision 2016 Winner, Arlington High School, MD
Tetsuo Iguchi (Toshiba), Jeffrey Ge, Alex Ma, Simin Li, Caleb Robelle, John Kaluta (Coach), Acacia McKenna (NSTA)
Montgomery Blair High School - Silver Spring, MD

Biobatteries in the Future of Clean Energy Storage

While scientists have progressed in creating new methods of energy production, modern models of energy storage are based upon the same principles as those used in the 20th century. Almost all modern batteries rely on chemical reactions to store electric potential energy and primarily differ in the type of electrolyte used to conduct current. However, these batteries have low energy densities and rely on toxic and limited resources. An alternative to traditional batteries are biobatteries, a type of fuel cell that relies on either enzymes to convert cheap and readily available sugars into energy. Unlike traditional chemical batteries, bio batteries do not rely on metallic compounds and are much thinner and more flexible, allowing for a wider range of medical and consumer applications.

Project website: http://nstawebdirector.wix.com/biobatteries-1518j

Region 3

Northview High School - GA, Duluth
Toshiba ExploraVision 2016 Regional Winner, Northview High School
Helena Liao, Annie Chen and Rupkatha Banerjee
Northview High School - Duluth, GA

Cardiac Nanocomposite Hydrogel Film for Immunotolerance (CNHF)

Within a year of cardiac transplantation, most patients experience 2-3 episodes of rejection. 10 to 15 percent of them die; another 22 percent of this demographic lose their lives to infections. Although organ transplantation has left a phenomenal impact upon lives today, rejection is still a prevalent issue-- especially when considering the consequential recipient dependence on immunosuppressant drugs. The proposed nanocomposite hydrogel film (CNHF) utilizes PLGA (poly lactic-co-glycolic acid) as a delivery vehicle for ECDI treated donor antigens and the drugs rapamycin and a-1-antitrypsin, with the primary purpose of introducing these components to the recipient immune system. Upon application to the donor heart, the CNHF will induce recipient antigen tolerance, ensuring the indefinite protection of cardiac allografts.

Project website: http://dev.nsta.org/evwebs/5341f/home.html

Region 4

University Laboratory High School - Urbana, IL
Toshiba ExploraVision 2016 Winner, University Laboratory High School
Back: Kennedy Cross (Toshiba), Front: David Stone (Coach),Sarah Zhang,Joy Chen, Aditya Yedetore, Rima Rebei, Katie Tender (Mentor)
University Laboratory High School - Urbana, IL

BEISight: Bionic Eye Implant for Sight

The Bionic Eye Implant for Sight ( BEISight) is a visual prosthesis designed for longterm use by people who have damaged or deteriorating retinas. It replaces the majority of the eyeball with a partially removable prosthetic containing a clear solar panel, two cylindrical cameras, and an image-to-electrical signal converter that sends signals across magnets to an electrode array implanted in the epiretinal membrane. The technology builds upon existing retinal prostheses by dramatically increasing the number of electrodes in the array implanted behind the retina, thereby improving the level of detail that users are able to discern from phosphene images. Combined with recent innovations in solar panel technology, BEISight will fuse compactness, efficiency, and durability with an overall higher quality visual experience.

Project website: http://dev.nsta.org/evwebs/2638b/

Region 5

Colleyville Heritage High School - Colleyville, TX
Toshiba ExploraVision 2016 Regional Winner, Colleyville Heritage High School
Conrad Streeter (Principal), Maahir Babwani, Matthew Gaughan, Sonya Loughran (Coach)
Colleyville Heritage High School - Colleyville, TX

OBHT Project

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that causes autoreactive T cells to attach and damage the myelin sheath of neurons, risking damage to the neurons themselves, causing loss of cognition and motor skills. Present day treatments for Multiple Sclerosis have several drawbacks. They often involve numerous secondary side-effects, take long periods of time, and require very specific dosages. Doctors of alternative medicine have long viewed histamine-based treatments as a cure to the problem of side-effects, but the most developed treatment attempts encounter similar issues with time and specificity as other present day conventional MS treatments. In response, we propose the OBHT (Optogenetic Based Histamine Treatment) Project to utilize the specificity and speed of optogenetics to administer a cure for MS, and the natural effects of histamine to reduce the number of secondary side-effects.

Project website: http://dev.nsta.org/evwebs/3896b/

Region 6

Moanalua High School - Honolulu, HI
Toshiba ExploraVision 2016 Winner, Moanalua High School, HI
Aaron Ling Johanson (Representative), Renee Gomes (Toshiba), Linda Ichiyama (Representative), Paige Yamate, Glenn Wakai (Senator); Not in the picture: Ma’Kayla Grogan and Lori Mizue (coach)
Moanalua High School - Honolulu, HI

Inhibiting Base Excision Repair in Melanoma Cancer Cells

Melanoma skin cancer is a dangerous disease caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) -radiation. It begins in the melanocytes and if not treated early enough, can be very fatal. Current attempts at controlling this disease include surgeries and chemotherapy; however, it is ineffective. Chemotherapy fails to kill off the cancer cells when base excision repair (cellular mechanism of repairing broken DNA strand breaks) is activated. We propose a drug that works alongside with low dosages of chemotherapy to make it easier to kill off the melanoma cancer cells. With the knowledge of base excision repair, we propose to inhibit the key proteins that drive this process, the PARP1 and PARP2. Instead of the cell counteracting and fixing itself, when the chemotherapy hits the cancer cells, the drug inhibitor will attach itself to the PARP1 and PARP2 proteins, thus preventing fixation leading to apoptosis.

Project website: http://dev.nsta.org/evwebs/1677b/home.html