Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Toastworthy Teens - Sara Volz

Sara Volz, Bio-Fuel Researcher

Sara Volz set out to “use guided evolution – so artificial selection – to isolate populations of algae cells with abnormally high oil content.”

Right. So if you, like most people, are not entirely sure what that means, let me put it in basic terms: she started growing algae under her bed to make bio-fuel.

Is it just me, or did saying it more simply actually make her project sound more complicated???

Not only was 17-year-old Sara undaunted by a challenge the green-energy community has been researching for ages, but her fresh perspective may have brought about a game-changer in the field. She found that by using a certain herbicide, she could eliminate the low-oil producing cells in her algae, leaving only “a population cells with very high oil production.”

Good news for science, future Earth, and for Sara herself, who went on to win the Intel Science Talent Search, a competition that’s had SEVEN winners go on to win Nobel prizes.

To see the other entrants’ work or to enter the contest yourself, visit:

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