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Science Smarts

They've been narrowed down to 40 finalists, and this evening the winners of the 2013 Intel Science Talent Search will be announced. As the New York Times notes, the judges look at more than the projects the students have been working on. "Our goal is to find future leaders in science," David Marker, the chair of the judges' panel and a math professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, tells the Times.

Among the finalists are Jacob Johnson from Boxborough, Mass., whose project used both bioinformatic and experimental techniques to identify genes that may drive breast cancer; Sara Volz from Colorado Springs, Colo., used artificial selection to increase oil yields from algae; and Mayuri Sridhar from Kings Park, NY, developed a computer model of how mutations to p53 lead it to lose its cancer-suppression ability.