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Chemistry research leads to top science honors for high school student

Anushua Bhattacharya, a high school student who worked in Associate Professor Christy Haynes' lab last summer and will be doing so again this year, has been selected to participate in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. She earned this honor at the Minnesota State Science Fair competition with her presentation, Silver Nanoparticles Affect Cell Messenger Delivery. In the Haynes lab, she researched how silver, which is used in commercial products and drugs, may affect cells and lead to diseases.

Anushua is a junior at East Ridge High School in Woodbury, which is part of the South Washington County Schools. She takes challenging science classes at her high school and participates in the University of Minnesota Talented Youth Mathematics Program.

In the Haynes lab, she is working with her mentor Sara Love to explore metal nanoparticle cytotoxicity. Love, a 5th-year graduate student, has been exploring bioanalytical aspects of nanoparticle cytotoxicity in chromatin cells and blood.

Anushua thanked Haynes and Love for their support of her award-winning research. "I want to thank you sincerely for all of the help you have provided me," she wrote. "I truly would not have been able to get this far without your guidance and support."

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of the Society for Science & the Public, will be held this May in Los Angeles. It is a forum for 1,600 high school students from about 60 countries to display their independent work.