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These transition year students just won top prize at the Young Scientist competition

It’s for their investigation into the “Effects of Enzymes used in Animal Feed Additives on the Lifespan of Caenorhabditis Elegans”.

TWO TRANSITION YEAR students from Loreto in Balbriggan, north Dublin have won the top prize at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition.

Maria Louise Fufezan (aged 16) and Diana Bura (aged 15) won the award for their project: ‘An Investigation into the Effects of Enzymes used in Animal Feed Additives on the Lifespan of Caenorhabditis Elegans’.

The girls had entered in the intermediate section of the biological & ecological sciences category.

“These students have asked a novel question,” category judge Professor Grace McCormack of NUI Galway said.

“Could there be any effects of enzymes added to animal feed on worms of importance for soil fertility?

“The girls provide new evidence that there may be an unexpected detrimental change in behaviour and lifespan of these essential worms.

The work is important for the environment and the food industry and will undoubtedly lead to further research in this important area.

Maria and Diana were presented with a cheque for €5,000 and will have the opportunity to represent Ireland at the 28th European Union Young Scientist competition in Brussels later this year. This year’s prize also includes a trip to Oxfordshire in England, paid for by one of the competition’s sponsors.

“I would like to acknowledge the tremendous work that students, teachers and entire school communities have put into their projects,” education minister Jan O’Sullivan, who presented the award, said.

BT Young Scientist 

From an initial 2,048 projects, some 550 projects are on display at the RDS in Dublin this week as part of the exhibition.

Around 60,000 visitors will have passed through the doors of the Ballsbridge complex by the time the event closes tomorrow night.

Here are the other big winners of the night:

Young Scientist 2015: Who’s better at lying – boys or girls?

Also: This 5th year student has invented a nappy that tells if babies are sick

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