Vietnamese students fight cancer at top international science fair

By Bui Hong Nhung   May 17, 2016 | 02:36 am PT
Vietnamese students fight cancer at top international science fair
Vietnamese students taking part in Intel ISEF receive merit certificates of the Ministry of Education and Training
Two Vietnamese students were awarded third prizes for developing an agent that can destroy certain types of cancer cells at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in Arizona that ran from May 8 to 13.

Nguyen Thu Minh Chau and Hoang Lu Duc Chinh are in the same class at Thang Long High School for Gifted Students. The two students share the same interest in biology, so in May last year, they started a project named “Study on the Ability of Binding and Killing Several Cancer Cells of Antinuclear Antibody”. The main target of the project was to create IANA, a substance to kill cancer cells.

After nine months in the lab, Chau and Chinh received the final result from the Vietnam Military Medical University, which stated that IANA could destroy cancer cells that target the lungs and brain.

“I was very surprised when I got the results. Our efforts have finally paid off,” Chau said.

The project received second prize at a national science contest before winning third prize at Intel ISEF.

“Being selected to attend a U.S. science fair and winning third prize was far beyond our expectations. We just set a goal of winning a prize at a national contest,” Chinh said.

Intel ISEF is the world’s largest pre-college science competition, providing an annual forum for young scientific minds. This year, the contest attracted 1,776 students from 77 countries and territories across the world with a total of 1,374 projects.

Four out of six projects from Vietnam won third prizes at Intel ISEF, focusing on chemistry, environmental engineering, mechanical engineering and biology.

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