Balbriggan Students Win the BTYSE 2016

11th January 2016

Posted In: FYI

Maria Louise Fufezan (aged 16) and Diana Bura (aged 15) have taken home the top prize at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) for their project entitled, ‘An Investigation into the Effects of Enzymes used in Animal Feed Additives on the Lifespan of Caenorhabditis Elegans’.

The announcement was made in the BT Arena at Dublin’s RDS on Friday 8th by Jan O’Sullivan, TD, Minister for Education and Skills, and Shay Walsh, Managing Director, BT Ireland. The group entered in the intermediate section of the biological & ecological sciences category.

Maria and Diana were presented with a cheque for €5,000, the opportunity to represent Ireland at the 28th European Union Young Scientist competition in Brussels later this year and the BTYSTE perpetual trophy.

Speaking about the winning entry, category judge Prof. Grace McCormack commented; “These students have asked a novel question – 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”.

(Pictured L-R: Shay Walsh, BT Ireland; the winners Maria Louise Fufezan and Diana Bura; and Prof. Grace McCormack.)