American teenager Nithin Reddy Tumma has won a whopping $100,000
prize in the prestigious Intel Science Talent competition for his
research on devising a more effective and less toxic breast cancer
Tumma, 17, from Michigan won the top honours in the competition
that also saw two other Indian Americans - Neel Patel from Florida
and Anirudh Prabhu from Indiana - finding a place in the top 10.
The winners overcame tough competition from a group of 40
finalists, seven of them Indian Americans, in what is touted as
the toughest national science competition. The 40 finalists met
President Barack Obama at the White House Tuesday.
Tumma analysed the molecular mechanisms in cancer cells and found
that by inhibiting certain proteins, the growth of cancer cells
may be slowed and their malignancy decreased.
Tumma is first in his class of 332, a varsity tennis player and a
volunteer for the Port Huron Museum, where he started a
restoration effort for historical and cultural landmarks.
Placed sixth, Neel Patel of Florida received a $25,000 award for
studying how non-speech patterns of sounds called sonifications
can convey information, which could lead to a computer-user
interface as revolutionary as the graphical interface was 30 years
Prabhu from Indiana received a $25,000 for the seventh spot for
his investigation of the odd-perfect number problem, and his
suggestion that odd perfect numbers do not exist.
Andrey Sushko, 17, of Washington State, won the $75,000 second
prize for his development of a tiny motor, only 7 mm in diameter,
which uses the surface tension of water to turn its shaft.
Mimi Yen, 17, of Brooklyn, won the third prize of $50,000 for her
study of evolution and genetics that focuses on microscopic worms,
specifically looking at their sex habits and hermaphrodite
(Arun Kumar can be
contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)