Academic

Atreya Dey Presents at Midwest Biotechnology Competition

Atreya Dey, 11th grade student at Maharishi School, represented Iowa at the Sanofi-Aventis Midwest Regional BioGENEius Challenge. He ranked fifth out of 11 high school students chosen from 9 Midwest states to present research at the Midwest BioGENEius challenge in Minneapolis on March 6.

The title of Atreya's project was "Comparing the Effects of Commonly Used Insecticides on Alpha-amylase Activity." He investigated why insecticides reduce the effect of alpha-amylase, an enzyme that is very important in industries that use starch degradation. His research showed that insecticides slow down the rate of starch degradation, which in effect slows down the manufacturing process of such industries. Crops treated with an organic method of pesticide control increased the rate of starch degradation. He concluded that use of conventionally grown corn and other pesticide-treated crops used for such industrial processes are not only harmful to humans but also increases the cost of industrial production. While presenting at the Iowa BioGENEius Challenge, Atreya received very positive feedback from scientists in the Ethanol industry. Atreya's findings have significant implications for improving the manufacture of ethanol.

Atreya said, “It was inspiring to talk to top scientists and to meet other scientifically-minded high school students.” Atreya's mother and science teacher at Maharishi School, Mousumi Dey, MD, and Maharishi University of Management PhD student, Wenu Gannen, coached Atreya. “Atreya's strength was his creativity and a desire to answer the question he had formulated,” said Dr. Dey. “This is the first time that we participated in this challenge. The requirements to enter this competition are very challenging. This was conducted very similar to PhD level work with a focus on biotechnology. By competing at this level, the students have carved out their future career paths, I would not be surprised to see a few Nobel Laureates emerge from here.”

Under the Biotechnology Institute's direction, the Sanofi-Aventis International BioGENEius Challenge is the premier annual competition for high school students that recognizes outstanding, innovative research in biotechnology.

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Atreya Dey Presents at Midwest Biotechnology Competition

Atreya Dey, 11th grade student at Maharishi School, represented Iowa at the Sanofi-Aventis Midwest Regional BioGENEius Challenge. He ranked fifth out of 11 high school students... Read More »

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