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The Next Generation of Cancer Researchers

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Texas high-school student Shree Bose won the top prize in the first Google Science Fair this year for discovering a mechanism of drug resistance in ovarian cancer, says Scientific American's John Matson. The 17-year-old Shree investigated the connection between the AMP-activated protein kinase in ovarian cancer and the cancer's resistance mechanisms, particularly to the chemotherapy drug cisplatin, Matson says. When Shree inhibited the activity of AMPK, she found that less AMPK meant reduced cell death in regular cancer cells treated with cisplatin but increased cell death in resistant cancer cells that were subsequently treated with cisplatin. For her work, Shree will receive a $50,000 scholarship from Google and a trip to the Galapagos Islands. Lauren Hodge, who competed in the 13- to 14-year-old age group, won first prize in her group for testing how the application of different marinades affected the formation of carcinogens in grilled chicken, and will receive a $25,000 scholarship, Matson adds.

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