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Three Syosset High School Students Named 2010 Intel Semifinalists

Syosset Central School District is proud to announce the three Syosset High School students who were named 2010 Intel Talent Search semifinalists: Dylan Jared Assael, Devi Mehrota and John Joseph Sullivan. These three students have been awarded this prestigious honor for their outstanding research in science.

For his project, Dylan Assael conducted his research at Stony Brook University. His work, titled, “An Unexpected Role for Picocyanobacteria in the Marine Silicon Cycle,” was the first study to demonstrate that picocyanobacteria, microscopic photosynethic bacteria, contain silicon. Previously, it was thought that silicon was contained only in diatoms, small plant-like organisms. Dylan plans to major in biological sciences with a concentration in ecology this fall at Dartmouth University.

Devi Mehrotra conducted her research at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. Her experiment is titled, “A Study to Elucidate the Role of Nitric Oxide in Parkinson’s Disease Pathogenesis.” Parkinson’s disease (PD) is caused by the loss of dopamine producing neurons. Investigations suggest that nitric oxide (NO) production in the brain plays a role in PD development. The purpose of her study was to determine the most effective NO over-expression mechanism to later examine NO’s role in PD development. Devi hopes to attend an Ivy League university in the fall of 2010 and plans to study biological and biomedical sciences.

John Sullivan utilized Syosset’s own state-of-the-art facility to conduct his research, “A Game Theoretical Analysis of the Equity of Colorado River Water Distribution.” The Colorado River, which provides water for much of the western United States, is apportioned to states by the Colorado River Compact and other agreements constituting the law of the river. In light of the worst drought in the Colorado River Basin in 500 years, John evaluated the efficiency of the current distribution using game theory techniques. John plans to attend Yale in the fall, where he will major in history.

The Intel Talent Search is America’s oldest and most prestigious pre-college science competition.