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11-Jan-2013

Contact: Jenny Ryan
jenny.ryan@nrcresearchpress.com
613-949-8667
Canadian Science Publishing (NRC Research Press)

Announcing the 2012 Best Paper Awards for Canadian Young Scientists

Sponsored by Canadian Science Publishing (NRC Research Press), the Best Paper Awards for Canadian Young Scientists are given out annually to aspiring young scientists for outstanding contributions

The Best Paper Awards for Canadian Young Scientists recognize the authors of exceptional papers published in the Canadian Young Scientist Journal (CYSJ). This year, honours went to a number of outstanding high school students in a variety of scientific areas.

These awards are sponsored by Canadian Science Publishing (CSP), publisher of the NRC Research Press journals. "In addition to providing a forum to showcase discoveries, CYSJ provides young people a unique opportunity to develop their scientific research and communication skills," said Cameron Macdonald, Executive Director, CSP. "We are delighted to sponsor the annual Best Paper Awards to reward and inspire a new generation of Canadian researchers."

The 2012 Canadian Young Scientist Best Paper Awards:

Best Paper in Neuroscience and Psychology:
Author: Adelina Cozma, Bayview Secondary School, Richmond Hill, Ontario
Title: "Novel learning in the brain"

In this research, Adelina examines how the brain acquires, learns, and overtly expresses new words in a foreign language relative to familiar, native-language words, and how new words are neurophysiologically absorbed after a short period of augmentative software training. Adelina reveals important new insights into the nature of foreign language processing.

Best Paper in Mathematics:
Author: Anunay Kulshrestha, Delhi Public School, Dwarka New Delhi, India
Title: "On the Hamming Distance between base-n representations of whole numbers".

The Hamming distance is an expression of the difference between the original version of a message and the received message. It can be used either to correct an error found within a message, or to determine if a given piece of information has too many errors to be useful. In this paper, Anunay derives a novel approach for calculating the Hamming distance between two consecutive whole numbers in any base.

Best Paper in Information Technologies:
Author: Nick Johnston, Semiahmoo Secondary School, Surrey, British Columbia
Title: "Computer-aided telepathic communications"

Nick's experiment focused on EEG as a means of detecting brain patterns related to speech. He was able to identify EEG patterns of phonemes (and, by extension, words) as they are thought of by an individual. These strings of phonemes could then be either transmitted to some future receiver or interpreted via a speech-to-text server and text-messaged via the Internet. Nicholas's research into non-Voice over IP communication is a fascinating and totally novel idea.

Best Paper in Environmental Science:
Author: Adam Kaplon, Morristown High School, NJ, USA
Title: "Transformation of Pseudomonas putida plasmids to transfer hydrocarbon degrading properties"

P. putida bacterium can degrade all hydrocarbons and, by extension, be a solution for oil spills. However, this bacterium doesn't occur naturally everywhere; often times, introducing a new organism into an ecosystem can generate further problems. Adam Kaplon investigated the usefulness of transfering the oil-cleaning properties of P. putida into other bacteria. Adam's results indicate that further studies might prove highly useful to the scientific world.

Best Paper in Physics:
Author: Sarah Battat, The Study School, Westmount, Quebec
Title: "Polarization: Ray Ray Go Away"

In her experiments, Sarah tested the effectiveness of ferrofluids and MRFs when used as polarizers by varying the strength of the magnetic field and varying the orientation of the laser light. The outcome of this research was an evaluation of the ability of certain types of ferromagnetic substances to polarize light.

Best Paper in Life Sciences:
Author: Jenny Xue, Moira Secondary School, Belleville, Ontario
Title: "Does Light at Night Boost Appetite? A Study on Mice"

Jenny Xue's study reveals that, in mice, light at night increases appetite by disturbing sleep and increasing overall activity level. This research could prove useful to future studies concerning humans and, by extension, to helping eliminate the prevalence of obesity in our society.

Best Paper in Biology:
Authors: Howard Feng, Ryan Murchie, and Aleixo Muise, Bayview Secondary School, Richmond Hill, Ontario
Title: "Identification of ezrin as a colonic substrate for protein tyrosine phosphatase sigma"

Inflammatory bowel diseases are conditions that plague many people. Protein tyrosine phosphatase sigma (PTPσ) is one of many receptor-type proteins responsible for the varied functions of the cell. Howard, Ryan, and Aleixo carried out a thorough analysis of a variety of assays, to see if ezrin may bind to the domains of PTP-sigma in vitro. They determined that the domain may directly dephosphorylate ezrin, thus providing strong evidence for ezrin's role as a colonic substrate of PTP-sigma.

Sponsored by Canadian Science Publishing (NRC Research Press), the Best Paper Awards for Canadian Young Scientists are given out annually to aspiring young scientists for outstanding contributions. Chosen by the editorial board of CYSJ, each winning author receives a certificate and a subscription to an NRC Research Press journal in a field related to their paper.

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About CYSJ

The Canadian Young Scientist Journal is a unique, peer-reviewed scientific publication entirely dedicated to original high school and undergraduate student research. It attracts independent thinkers and introduces them to the professional and academic communities. Since 2008, this non-profit organization has provided students with an opportunity to publish innovative ideas in various science and engineering fields.