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Academy Scientific DECEMBER 2011


nanotech issue


Academy Scientific editor-in-chief and founder aishwarya raja publisher and layout editor emily tu managing editor thomas silver features co-editors michelle rudshteyn and jenny yoon world news co-editors elizabeth dente and janet park school news co-editors jenny chen and maria ilina photography editor simran arjani webmaster jenny chen

Bergen County Academies 200 Hackensack Avenue Hackensack, NJ 07601 (201) 343-6000 www.bergen.org 2 | ACADEMY SCIENTIFIC VOL 1.2

{On the front cover}: TEM image of gold nanorods from BCA’s Electron Microscopy Lab {On the back cover}: TEM image of silver nanocages from BCA’s Electron Microscopy Lab


clockwise from top left


Japan Earthquake WORLD NEWS

5 6 7 8





Silver Nanoparticles

Forging Success from Failure + Aishwarya Raja


Music and the Mind + Gregory Loshkajian


Nanoscale Texturing: Protecting Aircraft From the Elements + Elizabeth Dente


2010 Siemens Competition Winners: Robot from the Future + Simran Arjani


8 9 9 9

Dr. Kim

Japan Earthquake Appears to Increase Quake Risk Elsewhere + Emily Tu


Quick Charge + David Heller


Students Struggling With Math May Have Dyscalculia + Emily Tu WORLD NEWS

Scientists are Now Choosing Green

+ Jisoo Kim WORLD NEWS



See for Yourself: Stem Cells and Sight


Nanotechnology Photographs Taken With BCA’S Electron Microscopy Lab


+ David Heller WORLD NEWS


Nanotechnology vs. Cancer: A Modern David and Goliath? + Thomas Silver



Surgery Gets Nanosized: Cutting Into Nanotechnology + Michelle Rudshteyn


Breakthroughs in Raman Spectroscopy: Novel Ways to Detect Substances + Jenny Yoon


Health Effects of Silver Nanoparticles: Implications for the Future + Leah Okrainsky

24 26 27 29 30



{13} .

TEM Image of MDA cells and gold nanoparticles from BCA’s Electron Microscopy Lab


Students Researchers: Rustin Golnabi and Leah Okrainsky + Aishwarya Raja


Interview with Anthony Arena + Jenny Yoon SENIOR EXPERIENCE

Interview with Dr. Kim + Thomas Silver FEATURED TEACHER

AAST is Victoriums at Stanford Math Tournament Once Again + Jenny Chen SCHOOL NEWS

Continuing Momentum of Physics Team

+ Yuriko Inaba SCHOOL NEWS


Six Bergen County Academies Students Named 2011 Intel Semifinalists


BCA 2010-2011 Awards Listing




TEM Image of negatively stained 5beta cholanoic acid-glycol chitosan nanoparticles from BCA’s Electron Microscopy Lab


from the editor “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford Welcome to Issue 1.2: The Nano Issue of the Academy Scientific! Since our beginnings in November of 2010 and the printing of our first issue in May 2011, the Academy Scientific has come a long way and we have been advancing every day. Please enjoy the second issue of our journal and we would love to hear from you at academyscientific@gmail.com if you have any suggestions to further advance the Academy Scientific. The vast field of science is defined not only by its whirlwind stories of success and breakthroughs, but also by the heart wrenching tales of futile inquiry. We often tend to disregard the latter as mere scientific waste, but as history has shown, the greatest success stories stemmed from failures. Take Sir Alexander Fleming, for instance. One day in 1928, he walked into his laboratory and discovered mold growing on his Staphylococcus plate. Rather than discarding the contaminated dish, he grew a pure culture of the mold and discovered that it was a Penicillium mold, one of the most potent devices for killing pathogenic bacteria in human beings. The ability for scientists such as Fleming to forge successful endeavors from failed scientific inquiries has resulted in discoveries that still astound millions today. These so-called failures evolved throughout scientific history and manifested themselves in new forms, which were deemed sucAlexander Fleming forged success from a mistake. cesses. Understanding this is only the first step to becoming a successful scientist. Actually experiencing it is the second. As Winston Churchill wisely said, “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” In his words mark the characteristic that all great scientists uphold: the readiness to move forward from their failures and seek refuge in their ambitions. As BCA students, there is a lesson to be learned from these great scientists. Regardless of the grades we receive, we must remind ourselves firstly that they do not characterize us as human beings. They are simply assessments of one aspect of our lives, not all of them. Secondly, we must understand that failure is a part of life, not its entirety. The mistakes we make are simply nanoparticles in the larger scheme of things, and can be resolved the second time around, if only we take some time out of our hectic lives to stop and learn from them. In this Nanotech issue, we explore the multiple attempts by scientists to utilize nanotechnology to fight diseases such as cancer. These are just a few examples of the ongoing fights to forge success stories from numerous failures of the past. Breakthroughs in this field of technology are leaving scientists hopeful of a bright future in the treatments and diagnoses of thousands of diseases. BCA students have been a part of the fight too as they continue to research and contribute to the growing pool of ideas and resources. I hope you enjoy your reading of this issue of the Academy Scientific and forge your own success from a failure, be it scientific or personal.

aishwarya raja founder and editor-in-chief ACADEMY SCIENTIFIC VOL 1.2 | 5

world news


more than heartstrings: music and the mind

+ gregory loshkajian, aast senior

performed at the McGill University are trying to do just that. These studies show something that musicians have always known: the “human effect,” or in other words, the subtle changes musicians make which communicate emotion best. However, the results from these studies also provide a window into the inner most workings of the brain. In 2002, after he heard a “flat” rendition of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27, Daniel J. Levitin, a researcher from McGill University, decided to study what he called “the ingredients” of strong music expression. To do this, he had a pianist play sections of Chopin nocturnes on a Disklavier, a piano with sensors under each key which determine and record how long and hard a note is played. This version was considered a 100% music rendition. After this, he made a homogenous version of the recording (each eighth note was played the same amount of time, and each quarter note was precisely double the length of an eighth note), along with versions with varying levels of variation from the original (125%, 150%, etc).

{Source: Public Domain}

Daniel J. Levitin, a researcher from McGill University, recently published the bestseller This Is Your Brain On Music.

We know music as a simple diversion, something to move us, to calm us, or even to excite us. Because of this, many musicians pay close attention to expressivity, which can change the emotional impact of music. Such a thing as musical expressivity may seem impossible for science to measure, but recent studies


When study subjects listened to these recordings in random order, they unanimously agreed that the original version was most emotional, and the homogenous versions were less emotional. Interestingly, versions with more variation than the original had no effect. This means that people can appreciate variation, but they can also see when there is too much. Regardless, this research proves that great composers can only do so much. There needs to be a human element, a deviation, in order for music to touch us. Future research aims to measure other elements of musical expression, including tone, timbre, and harmonics. However, musicians agree that no matter what this research shows, music will always be composed of some inscrutable aspects. For music is like mercury—an ever-moving, untouchable mystery.

{Source: Matthias Schrader/Associated Press}

The lengthy and time-consuming process of de-icing airplanes could finally be replaced with an alternative.

nanoscale texturing: protecting aircraft from the elements + elizabeth dente, amst senior

If you have ever booked a plane flight during the winter, chances are your plane has been delayed or even canceled by an impending snow storm. In the case of a plane delay, you might have watched as airplane engineers spent a great deal of time defrosting the dangerous ice that covered the plane. However, the practice of de-icing airplanes is neither cost-effective nor environmentally friendly. A solution has been highly sought after by scientists and aircraft companies alike.

elements: durability, scalability, and frost resistance. But this MIT team—as any determined group of researchers would—has accepted the challenge.

Scientists in the past have suggested a new design of airplanes to include hydrophobic, or water-repellent, exterior structures. But researchers at MIT have now proven that a surface’s water-repellent properties do not necessarily dictate its ice-repellent properties. The study conducted at MIT indicates that when ice forms on a surface as frost, it can coat any surface— hydrophobic or not. The MIT researchers blame a certain property of water for this phenomenon. Since water can go directly from a vapor stage to a solid stage, it can form dangerous frost on any surface— especially in cold, stormy weather. The MIT study suggests a novel solution: nanoscale texturing. Creating a new “skin” through nanoscale texturing would make the surface of an airplane ice-repellent and thus, extraordinarily safer. Such an innovation would benefit not only the aircraft business, but other industries as well. Wind energy—provided by wind turbines that tend to collect large amounts of ice in cold weather—could greatly profit from nanoscale texturing. The study acknowledges the great challenge involved in creating a texture that will incorporate all the important

{Source: Matthias Schrader/Associated Press}


2010 siemens competition winners: robot from the future + simran arjani, amst sophomore

popular movie, I, Robot. In one particular scene, a personal robot senses the anger of his owner and approaches her saying, “Is everything all right, Ma’am? I detected elevated stress patterns in your voice.” The concept amazed the boys and they began to wonder if they could create that technology in the real world.

{Source: The Oregonian}

Matthew Fernandez and Akash Krishnan, the winners of the 2010 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology.

The idea that robots can be programmed to recognize language seems to come straight from science-fiction movies. But engineering whizzes have made such futuristic feats possible by using preprogrammed directories of words for robots to recognize. However, the extensive collection of words to include in such directories makes it extremely challenging to create a fully functioning robot. This, however, was old news for Matthew Fernandez and Akash Krishnan.

Matt and Akash, who had been looking for a project for their school’s science expo, pounced on the project. As hard-working researchers, they spent countless hours researching and collaborating to come up with a cohesive idea. They took a unique approach to the project, coding more for the energy and pitch of a person’s voice than the order in which the code flowed. As a result, the robot could be trained to pick up emotions rather than to pick up words. This was the revolutionary technology that they wished to create. After gaining a great deal of recognition for their inventiveness, the students were given the top prize at the 2010 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology. These two ordinary teenagers adopted an extraordinary idea from a movie scene and worked hard to make their dream a reality. Young researchers around the world can take away a valuable lesson from the success of Matt and Akash. Any researcher, no matter how small or outlandish his or her idea, can create a project that might benefit the entire world.

The two boys, who attend Oregon Episcopal School, are the winners of the 2010 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology. Their passion for robots of the future started in their sophomore year of high school while watching the

japan earthquake appears to increase quake risk elsewhere in the country + emily tu, amst senior

Japan’s largest ever magnitude 9.0 earthquake on March 11, 2011, which triggered a devastating tsunami, relieved stress along part of the quake fault but also contributed to the build up of stress in other areas. The Tohoku earthquake, centered off northern Honshu Island, has resulted in the best-recorded earthquake the world has ever known. As a result, some of the country will be at risk for years of sizeable aftershocks and perhaps new main shocks, scientists say. Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Kyoto University and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 8 | ACADEMY SCIENTIFIC VOL 1.2

have identified several areas at risk from the quake after studying data from Japan’s extensive seismic network. The earthquake has already triggered a large number of aftershocks in these areas. Shinji Toda of Kyoto, a lead author of the study, states that data from the Tohoku earthquake has brought scientists a small step closer to a better assessment of future seismic risk in specific regions, as well as an improvement in the ability to forecast aftershocks. Using a model known as Coulomb stress triggering, scientists have found that the stress increases are large

enough to increase the likelihood of triggering significant aftershocks or subsequent mainshocks. At particular risk are the Tokyo area, Mount Fuji and central Honshu including Nagano. These aftershocks, as well as new mainshocks, can continue for weeks, months, or even years. The finding that a quake such as the Tohoku earthquake can increase stresses elsewhere signifies that new quakes could occur in the region. As a result Japanese citizens must factor in this new information into earthquake preparedness. Map showing the 11 March 2011 magnitude 9.0 off Tohoku mainshock and 166 aftershocks of magnitude 5.5 and greater until May 20. Warmer color indicates more recent events. Larger symbol indicates greater quake magnitude.

quick charge

+ david heller, amst sophomore

One of the most inconvenient aspects of technology is the need to charge your electrical gadgets. The process can take hours and leaves you without your beloved phone, iPod, or laptop, prompting you to actually use that big, brain-shaped thing in your head. However, a team of researchers led by Professor Paul Braun at the University of Illinois may have found a solution. The team has been able to exponentially speed up the process of charging a piece of technology. They have accomplished this by “using cathodes made from a self-assembled three-dimensional bicontinuous nanoarchitecture consisting of an electrolytically active material sandwiched between rapid ion and electron transport pathways.� In other words, the team has created a new material that has the ability to harness all the energy electrons expel while they move at lightning-fast speeds. The team believes that this new technology can charge laptops and electric cars in minutes, as well as phones in mere seconds.

{Source: Modified from figure created by U.S. Geological Survey}

The earthquake in Japan may trigger quakes elsewhere.

Yet the team has found one major setback in their work. The new material, while it is able to process massive amounts of energy, cannot seem to hold the energy for long periods of time. Therefore, your phone may be charged in ten seconds, but it will run out of power in about a minute. As a way around this problem, Braun and his team at the University of Illinois have decided to manufacture the material three-dimensionally. As a result, the surface area of the conductor will increase, allowing the material to store the energy while transporting it to its desired destination. The resulting material, which is tightly packed with a highly conductive metal, acts as a home for the electrons to bounce around in while also producing the energy needed to charge devices in miniscule amounts of time. Although Professor Braun and his team do not believe that this new technology will completely replace the battery industry, they are confident in its ability to enhance the existing nanotechnology innovations that currently power our electrical devices.

students struggling with math may have dyscalculia + emily tu, amst senior

Students who have long struggled with math problems may now have a medical explanation for their difficulties. According to a new paper published in the journal Science, dyscalculia, a neurocognitive disorder, inhibits the acquisition of basic numerical and arithmetic concepts. Dyscalculia is the mathematical equivalent of dyslexia, and is just as common: an estimated 7% of the population suffers from dyscalculia. Moreover, like dyslexia, dyscalculia is a condition people are born with, and may be heritable in many cases. However, it has long been neglected as a disorder of cognitive development.

A world-wide effort by scientists and educators has mapped out the critical neural network that supports arithmetic, and revealed abnormalities in this network in the brains of dyscalculic learners. These abnormalities result in victims performing simple number comparisons and addition by counting, often using the fingers for help, well beyond the age to be doing so. Unfortunately, dyscalculia is not as well known as its counterpart, dyslexia. The new paper states that specialized teaching for individuals with dyscalculia should be made available in mainstream education. Professor Brian Butterworth, co-author of the paper and member of the ACADEMY SCIENTIFIC VOL 1.2 | 9

Centre for Educational Neuroscience (CEN) from the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience laments that “there are only cursory references to the disorder on the Department of Education website [in the UK].” However, there is hope for sufferers of dyscalculia: neuroscience research has found that these students need help in strengthening simple number concepts. This can be achieved with specially-designed teaching methods, which can be supported by game-like software that adapts to the learner’s level of competence. As Professor Diana Laurillard, another co-author and member of CEN from the Institute of Education (IOE), University of London, said: “Just because dyscalculia is inherited it does not mean that there is nothing that can be done about it.”

{Source: Public Domain} Students who struggle to learn mathematics may have dyscalculia, according to a new article.

colleges are now choosing “green”

+ jisoo kim, avpa senior

Did you know that 94 percent of the electricity used by Bates College comes from renewable sources? Or that 35 percent of meals served at Harvard University is actually produced locally? Colleges with “green” principles are all over the nation! The Princeton Review and the U.S. Green Building Council recently released their second annual listing of the most environmentally friendly colleges in the country. It is available as an online guide that includes short summaries of sustainability initiatives as well as other points of interest including renewable power usage, energy efficiency, and waste disposal.

The schools that scored highest on the Princeton Review’s rating system were chosen based on a variety of criteria, such as transportation and construction policies, energy consumption, recycling and waste diversion, environmental studies offerings, greenhouse gas reporting and climate change initiatives. Only one important factor was missing from these statistics, and that was the individual green rating for each school. The schools that topped the list include Ivy Leagues such as Yale University and Harvard University, big state institutions such as Arizona State University, and private schools like Warren Wilson College.

see for yourself: stem cells and sight

+ david heller, amst sophomore

Certain fundamental questions of life are often overlooked. For example, most people live their lives without paying much attention to what gives them the ability of sight—or even why they lack this ability. However, a select few dedicate their lives to understanding something as ordinary as sight in order to provide a cure if this capability is damaged. Stem cells are renowned for their capacity to turn into almost any other type of cell. These cells are proof of what can happen when scientists use their skills and knowledge to make a difference. In fact, a recent study on stem cells has found that, for the first time, adult stem cells could be successfully transformed into the specific eye cells lost when a person undergoes AgeRelated Macular Degeneration, or AMD. When a person contracts AMD, cells in their retinal pigment epithelium are killed prematurely. This important area controls the eye’s ability to physically generate an image for us to see. Because of AMD, certain cells found in the retina are killed, thus reducing or completely destroying a person’s ability to see. Researchers at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. have found that by transforming skin 10 | ACADEMY SCIENTIFIC VOL 1.2

{Source: Public Domain} A team of researchers at Georgetown University has found a potential cure for Age-related Macular Degeneration with the help of stem cells.

cells into stem cells, they were able to transform these new cells into the exact cells that were killed during AMD. In previous years, scientists have used stem cells derived from embryos (aptly named embryonic stem cells) as a means of cell generation. However, the use of this type of stem cell has been considered an unethical means of scientific research since the cell line is taken from embryos that are still developing. This controversy over embryonic stem cells further shows the importance of the Georgetown study. The research team from Georgetown is using humaninduced pluripotent stem cells (IPSC), which allows them to escape the skepticism associated with embryonic stem cell research.

structure of the cells. In addition, in order to create new cells, virus-like “containers”—known as vectors—must be used to carry the cells. It is unlikely that the body will accept these vectors when they are transplanted into the eye. Therefore, it is necessary for the cells to be grown without the aid of such assistance. It may be a few years before these innovative eye cells will be used in humans. But if scientists continue to ask fundamental questions about how our bodies work, more information will surface about this novel technique that could restore a person’s sight. Additional studies conducted in the near future will hopefully prove exactly how stem cells can be used as a safe and effective way to replace damaged or lost eye cells.

However, the Georgetown team has found that there are a number of complications keeping them from proceeding. First of all, the new cell line was shown to contain uncommon chromosomal damage, prompting certain growth inhibitions and abnormalities in the

references + MORE THAN HEARTSTRINGS: MUSIC AND THE MIND Belluck, Pam. “To Tug Hearts, Music First Must Tickle the Neurons.” The New York Times 18 Apr. 2011: 1-4. New York Times. 18 Apr. 2011. Web. 13 May 2011. + NANOSCALE TEXTURING: PROTECTING AIRCRAFT FROM THE ELEMENTS Bhanoo, Sindya. “Imagining a New Skin That’s Able to Repel Ice.” The New York Times. 3 January 2011. The New York Times. 9 May 2011. + 2010 SIEMENS COMPETITION WINNERS: A ROBOT FROM THE FUTURE Lichtenstein, Jesse. “Next-Generation Scie tists.” The New York Times Magazine. The New York Times, 25 Mar. 2011. Web. 29 Mar. 2011. + JAPAN EARTHQUAKE APPEARS TO INCREASE QUAKE RISK ELSEWHERE IN THE COUNTRY Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. “Japan earth quake appears to increase quake risk elsewhere in the country.” ScienceDaily, 31 May 2011. Web. 25 Aug. 2011.

+ STUDENTS STRUGGLING WITH MATH MAY HAVE DYSLCALCULIA University College London. “Students struggling with math may have a neurocognitive disorder called dyscalculia: Disorder affects roughly as many people as dyslexia.” ScienceDaily, 28 May 2011. Web. 25 Aug. 2011. + COLLEGES ARE NOW CHOOSING “GREEN” The Princeton Review, Inc. “The Princeton Review, Inc. - The Princeton Review & U.S. Green Building Council Release ‘Guide to 286 Green Colleges’” Apr. 2010. Web. 25 Aug. 2011 + SEE FOR YOURSELF: STEM CELLS AND SIGHT Mozes, Alan. “Progress Seen in Creating Eye Cells From Stem Cells - Yahoo! News.” The Top News Headlines on Current Events from Ya hoo! News. Health Day, 24 Mar. 2011. Web. 03 Apr. 2011.

+ QUICK CHARGE Johnson, Dexter. “3D Nanostructure for Cath odes in Batteries Could Mean Cell Phones That Charge in Seconds - IEEE Spectrum.” IEEE Spectrum: Technology, Engineering, and Science News. 22 Mar. 2011. Web. 09 May 2011.


nanotechnology WHY SMALL IS THE NEW BIG

in this feature

14 Nanotechnology vs. Cancer 16 Surgery Gets Nanosized 18 Breakthroughs in Raman Spectroscopy 20 Health Effects of Silver Nanoparticles

{Source: Public Domain} 12 | ACADEMY SCIENTIFIC VOL 1.2



[clockwise from top left] SEM of lotus leaf trichomes; TEM of liposomes; TEM of gold nanorods; TEM of peptide-gold nanoparticle conjugate cubes; TEM of gold nanorods; TEM of silver nanocages

nanotechnology vs. cancer

a modern david and goliath?

+ thomas silver, amst senior Since its birth, one of the most exciting potential applications of nanotechnology has been the development of new cancer treatment options. From improved tumor imaging to novel drug vectors, nanotechnology has promised to make a large incision in the frustrating roadblocks of oncology. As scientists have begun to explore its proposed possibilities, a number of disconcerting obstacles has been cited. Among these are the lack of adequate targets for nanovectors on malignant cells, the

ligands in their membranes that are meant to bind specifically to malignant cancer cells. In 1995, the first liposome-encapsulated formulations of doxorubicin, a chemotherapeutic drug, were approved for the treatment of Kaposi’s sarcoma. Since then, the same regimen has been applied to multiple myeloma and ovarian cancers. Clinical trial results have revealed benefits in patients with relapses of multiple myeloma, but the effectiveness of the liposome in other cases has yet to be determined. Liposomes are widely cited as some of the most

Liposomes have been artificially designed to express ligands in their membranes that are meant to bind specifically to malignant cancer cells. conundrum of creating nanoparticles that are large enough to serve a function, and the issue of the human body’s natural filtration techniques. In spite of the alarming difficulties that have arisen, many scientists remain hopeful that nanotechnology will provide substantial improvements to cancer treatment. As these issues are addressed in laboratories throughout the world, the emerging field of cancer nanotechnology continues to expand. One of the most promising employments of nanotechnology in oncology is the advancement of targeted drug vectors. The most widely used nanovector to date is known as the liposome, which is a tiny circular vesicle with a phospholipid membrane. Liposomes have been artificially designed to express


versatile drug vectors due to their high drugquantity-to-total-size ratios. In recent years, liposomes have also been optimized for enhancing the imaging of MRI machines. While this has yielded some success, polymer-based nanovectors currently seem the most promising for improving tumor detection. Self-assembling branching molecules known as dendrimers can be fine-tuned at the nanoscale, and then theoretically introduced noninvasively to a patient to detect tumor cells. These cells would then be revealed on an MRI scan at a greater frequency than under normal conditions. In a mouse model of breast cancer, dendrimers proved to significantly increase the efficacy of MRI scanning. This result has encouraged scientists to continue

pursuing polymer-based nanotechnology for early cancer detection. Liposomes and dendrimers are two of the most popular nanovectors being utilized in cancer research today, but they are only a small glimpse into the field. Thousands of nanovectors are currently under study in search of the perfect targeting and delivery agent. In addition to the wet lab

experimental aspect of cancer nanotechnology, mathematical models of nanovectors are starting to be analyzed. Nanotechnology has always been an eclectic field, and the subset of cancer nanotechnology has proven to be no different. Many researchers continue to receive new funds to explore cancer nanotechnology, which in turn is attracting some of the best minds to the study. The field’s potential continues to explode with every breakthrough.

Liposomes for Drug Delivery DNA

Protective layer against immune distruction

Homing peptide

Drug crystallized in aqueous fluid

Lipid-soluble drug in bilayer Lipid bilayer

{Source: Public Domain}

references Ferrari M. “Cancer nanotechnology: opportunities and challenges.” Nat Rev Cancer. 2005;5:161–71. Wang MD, Shin DM, Simons JW, Nie S. “Nano technology for targeted cancer therapy.” Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2007;7:833–837. Xu F, Ma Q, Sha H. Optimizing drug delivery for enhancing therapeutic efficacy of recombinant human endostatin in cancer treatment. Crit Rev Ther Drug Carrier Syst. 2007;24:445–492.

Moghimi SM, Szebeni J. Stealth liposomes and long cir culating nanoparticles: critical issues in pharmacoki netics, opsonization and protein-binding properties. Prog Lipid Res. 2003;42:463–478. Petros RA, DeSimone JM. Strategies in the design of nanoparticles for therapeutic applications. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2010;9:615–627.

{Source: Dider Astruc/University of Bordeaux} ACADEMY SCIENTIFIC VOL 1.2 | 15

surgery gets nanosized + michelle rudshteyn, amst senior Technological innovations in nanotechnology have the potential to completely revolutionize our approach to surgery, impacting operating rooms around the world and improving the lives of millions of patients. In surgery, accurateness and preciseness are critical, whether the surgeon is repairing a blood clot in the brain or giving a patient a hip replacement. Nanotechnology utilizes very small objects which are billionths of a meter in length to achieve tasks that would normally be difficult and less accurate at larger scales. The medical world has already realized how nanoparticles can be used for the delivery of medicine to specific areas in the body. Nanoparticles can also be used in combination with more traditional materials to create products that are stronger or more flexible. However, the application of nanotechnology to surgery is still developing. If developed, it would have a large impact on the therapeutic and diagnostic procedures available to surgeons. The many advantages of nanotechnology are all applicable to surgery, as many surgeons and scientists are realizing. Dr. Christopher Weldon MD, PhD of Children’s Hospital Boston has been working on the development of surgical tools which have been fortified with nanoparticles. He has been able to show improved patient care and performance because of the use of these tools. Dr. Bozhi Tian, PhD, of Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts


cutting into nanotechnology

Institute of Technology, is studying the application of nanotechnology to the surgical procedure itself, rather than the tools used to do it. His research focuses on the use of tissues modified with nanoscale digital electronics at the cellular level, to encourage faster and more reliable tissue repair. Since the surgical process consists of many different components, including anesthesia, diagnostic care and post-operative care, there are many different areas where nanotechnology can be applied. Dr. Daniel S. Kohane MD, PhD of Children’s Hospital Boston is focusing on drug delivery during and after surgery by developing nanotechnology-based drug delivery systems which can be activated by a patient or a doctor. He stresses the importance of surgeons having a direct role in the integration of nanotechnology to surgery, stating that surgeons who are informed can make decisions which are in the best interests of patients, both in terms of efficacy and cost-effectiveness. As with any new technology, patient safety and cost-effectiveness are valid concerns. Are the benefits of nanotechnology worth any potential adverse effects? What are the long-term effects of using nanoparticles in cells? Will patients who cannot afford a nanotechnology-enhanced surgery be signing their own death sentences? As we move forward into a new era of surgery, aided by revolutionary discoveries from researchers worldwide, we will find the answers to many of these questions and unveil more probing questions. For now, however, it’s an exciting time for scientific exploration into nanotechnology that will undoubtedly pave the way for future inquiries.

focus on: reconstructive medicine

opment of human cells. The project uses a new laser-based technology called Extreme Ultra-Violet (EUV) to create the nano-structured polymer surfaces. This method allows for very precise polymeric structures, ranging from 10 to 20 nanometers, while traditional methods only provided for a precision level of 100 nanometers. Professor Heitz, one of the scientists in charge of the project, stated his belief that when it came to growing cells, the smaller the structure, the easier it is to manipulate cell growth.

{Source: Marina Bartel} For burn patients, a novel nanotechnology practice can be used to grow new skin.

Besides being more precise, the nano-structures built with the EUV method can influence the behavior of the cells, depending on the type of polymer surface. If human stem cells are grown on the surfaces, the polymer material can cause the cells to differentiate in a specific way. In the medical setting, this will allow doc-

Besides being more precise, the nano-structures built with the EUV methods can influence the behavior of the cells, depending on the type of polymer surface. If a patient with severe burns needs new skin, it has to be grown from the patient’s own skin cells using synthetic polymeric materials. The polymeric materials are used by doctors because they help cells multiply and grow faster. We use other types of polymeric materials in our everyday lives such as synthetic plastics like plastic bags or natural biopolymers like wood or human proteins. However, this process often takes a long time and cells develop erratically, leaving the patient susceptible to infection and dehydration. A team of Austrian, Czech and Polish scientists are currently working on a research project called 3892 ModPolEUV to develop new nano-structured materials which would allow more consistent and efficient devel-

tors to grow pieces of muscles, nerves, skin, and bones. The polymeric materials may also be effective in creating entire artificial implants, including heart valves and blood vessels. The scientists believe that the EUV method will prevent implant rejection, allowing for safer surgeries and better patient outcomes. This laser-based technique is now being studied in other laboratories worldwide, and the scientists hope it will soon be integrated into medicine. Although this method cannot be used to grow entire human organs, it is certainly a step in the right direction. As for the millions of patients waiting for new skin, it is an important leap in the future of medicine.

references Emilian Leucuta, Sorin. “Nanotechnology for Delivery of Drugs and Biomedical Applications .” Current Clinical Pharmacology 5.4 (2010): 257-280. Print.

Eureka. “Nanotech medicine to rebuild damaged parts of human body.” ScienceDaily, 19 Jan. 2011. Web. 14 May 2011.

Wiley-Blackwell. “Surgeons predict the future of nanomedicine in practice.” ScienceDaily, 1 Mar. 2011. Web. 14 May 2011.

“Nanostructured Synthetic Polymers Promote Cell Growth.” Medical Device Industry Supplier Directory. N.p., 18 Jan. 2011. Web. 30 Apr. 2011.

{Source: Public Domain} ACADEMY SCIENTIFIC VOL 1.2 | 17

novel ways to detect substances

breakthroughs in raman spectroscopy + jenny yoon, amst senior In the 1920s, an Indian physicist named Chandrasekhara Raman developed a process called Raman scattering in which carbon-based materials could be detected by reflecting a light off of an object. The reflected light carried signatures of the object’s molecular composition and structure, thus making it feasible to identify it, analogous to how a finger print identifies an individual person. Raman spectroscopy is commonly used in chemistry to obtain information about molecules based on their vibrational data. “Fingerprints” of the molecules and substances are analyzed to identify samples. Raman scattering can also produce information about crystal orientation and structure. Researchers at the United States Naval Research Laboratory are exploring ways to use Raman spectroscopy technology to detect chemicals, biological agents, and explosives, while biological researchers are trying to pioneer ways to detect illnesses such as cancer tumors through its use. Raman spectroscopy is a technique based on the inelastic scattering of a monochromatic light which is usually from a laser source. The sample being detected absorbs photons from the laser light and reemits them, and the frequency of these reemitted photons shifts according to the original monochromatic light’s frequency. This effect is called the Raman Effect, and from this, the shift of frequencies can be analyzed to obtain information regarding frequency, vibrational transitions, and rotational transitions in


the molecules, enabling the detection of samples which may be solid, liquid, or gaseous. Despite all the ways that Raman spectroscopy works, the results of the data relies on the Raman sensor that detects the light as much as it does on the actual laser emissions and frequencies. The problem that nanotechnology researchers have had with Raman scattering was that the Raman sensors used to detect and analyze the light only received faint signals generated by the scattering of light from the material. The sensors are weak and their uses are very limited. Stephen Y. Chou, the professor of electrical engineering at Princeton University, led a research team in developing a novel sensor to enhance the results and uses of Raman spectroscopy. Chou commented, “Raman scattering has enormous potential in biological and chemical

Their technique is miles ahead of that discovered in the 1970s. At that time, researchers had discovered that Raman signals were stronger and clearer when the sample was placed on a rough metal surface of gold and silver particles. Their technique was called surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). Although this technique seemed promising, it was difficult to put Raman spectroscopy to practical use, and inconvenient that the sensor received overall weak signals. Since then, Chou and his colleagues completely abandoned the pervious design for the sensors and developed a new SERS architecture with a chip studded with tiny pillars made of metals and insulators. These pillar arrays create a structure of two main components. Plasmonic nanodots, the metal particles of approximately twenty nanometers in diameter, are created and separated by small gaps of two nanometers. These small particles and gaps boost the Raman signal. In

Raman spectroscopy is commonly used in chemistry to obtain information about molecules based on their vibrational data. “Fingerprints” of the molecules and substances are analyzed to identify samples. sensing, and could have many applications in industry, medicine, the military and other fields, but current Raman sensors are so weak that their use has been very limited outside of research. We’ve developed a way to significantly enhance the signal over the entire sensor and that could change the landscape of how Raman scattering can be used.” This new sensor is the most sensitive of its kind to date, and it is based on a completely new architectural technique that was developed by the researchers. To enhance the weak signals received by the sensors, Chou and his team designed the sensor to boost faint laser signals and separately identify various substances of the sample by distinguishing the different colors of light reflected. With this sensor, a sample the size of a single molecule can be analyzed and identified.

addition, the metal at the top and base of each pillar make a cavity that serves as an antenna which traps light from the laser, making it pass the plasmonic nanodots several times to regenerate Raman signals. It basically enhances the outgoing Raman signal significantly more. The new sensor is complicatedly named the “disk-coupled dots-on-pillar antenna-array” or D2PA, for short. Chou and his electrical engineering graduate students published their paper in the journal Optics Express this past February, and the research was funded by the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency. Regardless of its applications, Raman spectroscopy is a growing practice and research field in the world of nanotechnology, and hopefully the novel improvements on an almost-decade old technique can expand its scientific applications in the real world.

references Wen-Di Li, Fei Ding, Jonathan Hu, Stephen Y. Chou. “Three-dimensional cavity nanoantenna coupled plasmonic nanodots for ultrahigh and uniform surfaceenhanced Raman scattering over large area.” Optics Express, 2011; 19 (5): 3925

Princeton University, Engineering School. “Engineers make breakthrough in ultra-sensitive sensor technology.” ScienceDaily, 22 Mar. 2011. Web. 10 Sep. 2011.

{Source: Dider Astruc/University of Bordeaux} ACADEMY SCIENTIFIC VOL 1.2 | 19

health effects of silver nanoparticles + leah okrainsky, aast senior

Silver has been used as an antibacterial medicinal agent for thousands of years. It dates back to ancient Greece and the ancient doctor, Hippocrates, who used silver in wound dressings. It was also a traditional ingredient in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Currently, silver has various applications: to sterilize drinking water aboard NASA space shuttles, to treat chronic wounds, and to heal scars on diabetic patients. Silver exists in many forms, but the most ef-

of chemicals used to synthesize silver. However, the basic reaction starts out with silver nitrate. In order for silver to become nanoparticle-size, it must revert back into its elemental state. This is possible with the addition of chemicals such as sodium citrate and sodium borohydride, which act as reducing agents and lend silver ions an electron, making them electrically neutral. The main questions that scientists are asking these days about silver are how do these nanoparticles affect bacteria and why are these

Silver is an antibacterial that has been used for thousands of years. It is an indispensible antimicrobial agent that is especially important nowadays when more and more bacterial strains are becoming resistant to many drugs. fective form is colloidal silver, or tiny particles in solution. This form is most similar to the composition of many bodily fluids, such as blood. The reason why silver nanoparticles are successful is their surface-area-to-volume ratio. The volume of a nanoparticle is unbelievably tiny, so it follows that the surface area to volume ratio is enormous. This provides augmented opportunities for chemical reactions to occur on the surface. There are diverse procedures for the synthesis of silver nanoparticles, although some yield better results than others. These reactions vary in length of time for the reaction and the type


antibacterial effects observed? There are a few proposed theories but no definite, conclusive results. In order to test these theories, scientists are conducting experiments in which silver nanoparticles are added to bacterial threats, such as gram-negative Escheria coli (E. coli). Several studies have shown that a possible antimicrobial mechanism is the attachment of silver nanoparticles on the cell membrane of bacteria. Important functions such as cell respiration are disturbed, causing the cell to die. Another theory is that silver nanoparticles permeate through the cell membrane and interact with DNA, causing further damage. Yet another idea is the negative effect of the silver nanoparticles’ release of silver ions,

a chemical reaction that is continually occurring. What scientists do know is that the shape of silver nanoparticles has an effect on the antibacterial effects of silver. In order to synthesize silver triangular nanoplates or silver nanorods, procedures vary between many factors such as the addition of alternate chemicals and length of the reaction. Overall, silver is a valid antibacterial that has been used for thousands of years. It is an indispensible antimicrobial agent that is not toxic to humans in small amounts and does not cause immunity in cells. This is especially important nowadays when

more and more bacterial strains are becoming resistant to many drugs on the market, making it difficult for both patients and pharmaceutical companies to come up with new drugs to fight off diseases. Perhaps silver may even be used in the future to destroy superbugs such as MRSA, which is so dangerous because of its ability to spread easily and resist common antibiotics such as amoxicillin and penicillin. Whatever the case, silver holds much potential for the future health of humans and should continue to be studied by researchers.

Silver Nanoparticle spheres under Transfer Electron Microscope (TEM). Average diameter (1 particle) = 40 nm. Volume (1 particle) = 33500 nm3

Silver Traingular nanoprisms under TEM. Average side length (1 prism) = 70 nm. Volume (1 prism) = 21200 nm3.

references Jung, Woo Kyung, et al. “Antibacterial Activity and Mechanism of Action of the Silver Ion in Staphylo coccus aureus and Escherichia coli.” Applied and Environmental Microbiology 74.7 (2008): 21712178. Web. 28 Oct. 2010. Pal, Sukdeb, Yu Kyung Tak, and Joon Myong Song. “Does the Antibacterial Activity if Silver Nanopar ticles Depends on the Shape of the Nanoparticles? A Study of the Gram-Negative Bacterium Escheria Coli .” Applied and Environmental Microbiology 73.6 (2007): 1712-1720. Web. 28 Oct. 2010. Rentz, Eric J. “Historic Perspectives on Clinical Use and Efficacy of Silver .” Hydrosol Info. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2010. <http://www.hydrosolinfo. com/‌articles/‌history-of-silver.php>.

Silver Nanoparticles- Antibacterial Studies.” Silver Nanoparticles. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2010. <http:// www.silvernanoparticles.info/‌Silver-Nanoparticles-Anti bacterial-Properties.html>. Thomas, Steve. “MRSA and the use of silver dressings: overcoming bacterial resistance .” World Wide Wounds. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2010. <http://www. worldwidewounds.com/‌2004/‌november/‌Thomas/‌Intro ducing-Silver-Dressings.html>. *Wright, J. B., K. Lam, and R. E. Burrell. “Wound manage ment in an era of increasing bacterial antibiotic resis tance: a role for topical silver treatment.” American Journal of Infection Control 26.6 (1998): 572-577. Abstract. Web. 28 Oct. 2010`.


Control (no nanoparticles)

Spherical nanoparticles 8 ul

Spherical nanoparticles 0.4 mL

Spherical nanoparticles 0.83 mL

Spherical nanoparticles 83 uL

Triangular nanoprisms 8 uL

Spherical nanoparticles 208 uL

Triangular nanoprisms 83 uL

HB101 E.coli sample plates

Triangular nanoprisms 208 uL

Triangular nanoprisms 0.4 mL

Triangular nanoprisms 0.8 mL

Above is the relationship between E.coli colonies and the concentration of spherical and triangular nanoparticles added to the sample. 22 | ACADEMY SCIENTIFIC VOL 1.2

focus on: gold nanoparticles + ji-sung kim, aast sophomore

In recent years, research regarding the treatment of cancer has grown exponentially and as a result, cancer mortality rates have fallen drastically. One product of cancer research has been the development of cancer treatment using gold nanoparticles. The application of gold nanoparticles has been prominent in an experimental method of cancer treatment called photothermal therapy. These gold nanoparticles have been used to synthesize particles in combination with other substances such as silicon and sulfur. Generally, the sizes of these synthesized particles are under 150 nm. In a paper published through the Department of Biochemistry of the University of Kerala, citrate capped gold nanoparticles were synthesized to be used in photothermal therapy for A431 cancer cells. In another paper published by Rice University, gold sulfide nanoparticles were synthesized for this same purpose.

poisoning. However, gold nanoparticles do not poison the patient because they remain nontoxic. Furthermore, photothermal therapy localizes cell damage to a smaller area, reducing the number of healthy cells that are harmed by the treatment. In addition to being much less harmful than chemotherapy and radiation therapy, photothermal therapy has been shown to be extremely effective in non-human patients. In an investigation by Rice University, mice with tumors were treated with photothermal therapy. The untreated mice showed a 0% survival rate after two weeks. However, mice treated with gold sulfide-nanoparticles for forty-eight hours with lasers showed an 82% survival rate after eight weeks. Gold nanoparticles hold much promise for a universal treatment for cancer because they can be applied to many variations of cancer and are easy

Different allotropes of gold nanoparticles can have drastically different properties, making gold nanoparticles extremely flexible in their usage. Gold nanoparticles are becoming highly significant in the medical field, especially in cancer treatment, due to their useful properties. Different allotropes of gold nanoparticles can have drastically different properties, making gold nanoparticles extremely flexible in their usage. These nanoparticles are becoming widely used in photothermal therapy research due to their nontoxic, adsorbing and photostable properties.

to manufacture. Students of Dr. Deok-Yang Kim’s nanotechnology elective have previously created citrate capped gold nanoparticles without much difficulty. The key in gold nanoparticle research lies in the feasibility and effectiveness of its future applications. Gold nanoparticles are quickly becoming more and more useful in medical research and may lead to significant findings in the battle against cancer.

Being good adsorbers, gold nanoparticles are able to adhere to surfaces in thin layers. They are then applied to cancerous tumors and struck by photons. While absorbing photons, these gold nanoparticles begin to heat the surrounding tissue, eliminating the cancer cells. High levels of heat are able to effectively kill the cancer cells.


Photothermal therapy using nanoparticles has many more benefits than traditional treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy. Both chemotherapy and radiation therapy cause severe damage to healthy tissue and malignant side effects due to radiation and chemical

O’Neal, D. Patrick, Leon R. Hirsch, Naomi J. Halas, J. Donald Payne, and Jennifer L. West. “Photo-ther mal tumor ablation in mice using near infrared-absorbing nanoparticles.” Cancer Letters 209.2 (2004): 171-176. Web. 26 Aug 2011. Raji, V., Jatish Kumar, C.S. Rejiya, M. Vibin, and Annie Abraham. “Selective photothermal efficiency of citrate capped gold nanoparticles for destruction of cancer cells .” Experimental Cell Research 317.14 (2011): 2052-2058. Web. 26 Aug 2011.




rustin golnabi, aedt senior

+ focus: nanotechnology + mentor: dr. kim + project: focused ion beam milling of crystalline diamonds


Recently, a wide range of new applications of diamond materials such as spintronics, field emission and biosensing have been proposed. These applications often require the precise pattering of diamonds, which is not trivial because diamonds are the hardest materials known in the nature. Among various patterning techniques, a focused ion beam milling method has been proven to provide flexibility as well as high resolution in the pattern design. In this study, a focused beam of 30 keV Ga+ ions was utilized to create sub-micrometer size patterns out of crystalline diamonds. The sputtering rate, re-deposition, and surface roughening of diamond structure have been closely monitored with various milling parameters during the milling process. Our initial work revealed the low sputtering yield of 0.02 μm 3/nC, high Ga content re-deposition and the formation of sub-micron scale terracing on the sidewall of patterned diamonds. Several strategies to improve the precision of diamond patterning will be discussed.

q&a Q: When did you start research and with whom? A: I started at the start of sophomore year with Dr. Kim. Q: Why did you choose your particular project? A: Actually, the opportunity was presented to me by Dr. Kim while I was searching for a project. Q: What do you enjoy the most about doing research? A: The greatest feeling is when I get to share my findings with others, and prove to myself that I have indeed accomplished something. Q: What is the hardest part about doing research? A: The most difficult part is to understand some of the complex concepts that you are presented with.


Q: What has research taught you? A: It has taught me to be independent and persistent. Also, of course, I’ve learned a lot about chemistry in the process. Q: Do you plan on continuing research in the future? A: Yes, definitely. Because of my experience in the research program at BCA, I hope to possibly pursue scientific research as a career. Q: What words of advice do you have for any freshman interested in conducting their own research? A: Don’t rely on your mentor to do your work. Come in whenever you can and do something. There’s always something to do. The more you come in to work, the more you will accomplish.

When he’s not engrossed in his research, Rustin plays tennis in his free time and devotes a lot of his time to school clubs. Keeping up with friends and family is very important to him as well. He dreams of one day going to college in the city and pursuing scientific research as a career. 24 | ACADEMY SCIENTIFIC VOL 1.2



leah okrainsky, aast senior

+ focus: nanotechnology + mentor: dr. kim + project: the biocidal effect of differently shaped silver nanoparticles in e. coli


It has been recently shown that metal nanoparticles, as well as solutions containing these nanoparticles, have exceptional antibacterial properties. Silver, in particular, has been used for thousands of years to fight off bacterial infection. In small concentrations, it is believed to be safe and non-toxic to humans. Furthermore, bacteria are unlikely to develop resistance or immunity from silver because of the metal’s ability to attack various parts of the bacteria that it cannot protect. However, the antibacterial outcome is dependent on the size of the particles used. This effect has already been investigated thoroughly, but the shape of the particles has not. This experiment features the synthesis of differently shaped silver nanoparticles, including spherical and triangular nanoplates, and exposing them to the gram-negative bacterium Escheria coli in order to observe phagocytal and bactericidal effects. It is expected that silver triangular nanoplates will have the greatest bactericidal effect on E.coli.

q&a Q: When did you start research and with whom? A: I started research in the middle of my sophomore year with Dr. Kim. Q: Why did you choose your particular project? A: My project has a lot of prevalence in the everyday world and plays a role in the medicinal field. Silver is easy to access and nanoparticles are relatively simple to produce. Treating resistant bacteria with silver, which bacteria are not and do not become immune to, would be an excellent solution. Q: What do you enjoy the most about doing research? A: It’s interesting to apply concepts I have learned in class to actual things in the real world. Using previous knowledge in different ways can give fascinating results. Q: What is the hardest part about doing research? A: It gets a little boring and repetitive sometimes, but achieving your desired result is very exciting and you forget everything that you disliked about research.

Q: What has research taught you? A: Research has taught me to be more organized, responsible, and independent. Doing your own research is a lot of work and once I realized that, I really had to apply myself to do it well. Q: Do you plan on continuing research in the future? A: I plan to continue it through senior year; however, after that, I’m not sure. Q: What words of advice do you have for any freshman interested in conducting their own research? A: You need to have a good idea in mind and you need to execute it well. You need to be able to commit to your research and give a lot of attention to it. Also, you should be flexible because if something goes wrong with your project, you’ll need to be able to figure out what to do next, instead of just saying that it won’t work anymore and giving up; that’s not how it works. Basically, don’t give up, no matter what.


Leah loves doing research but she also loves tea, coffee, chocolate, and especially sushi. She also likes to run and sing in choir, but not at the same time. Another favorite activity is getting good deals when shopping. ACADEMY SCIENTIFIC VOL 1.2 | 25

senior experience anthony arena, class of 2011 aast graduate + interview conducted by jenny yoon, amst senior

Q: Would you recommend your internship to anyone else? A: I would highly recommend this internship to anyone with a sincere passion for dentistry. You have to have a profound interest in the biological sciences and a willingness to learn. There is so much to learn, and Dr. Heaney is an outstanding teacher. Q: Based on your internship, would you still want to pursue this as a career?

Q: What is your internship? A: My internship is at a dental office, and my mentor is Kevin M. Heaney, D.D.S. It is located on Summit Avenue in Hackensack. I shadow, clean up the office, and perform some small tasks in the lab. Q: What is your day like? A: Every day I shadow Dr. Heaney and he carefully explains procedures as he goes through them. I also work in the lab practicing making impressions, counter models, or fillings. I also develop digital x-rays and work the autoclave. Every day, I walk away learning something new about dentistry, which has always been a passion of mine. Q: Does your mentor give you any external assignments to do? A: My mentor occasionally gives me readings or sends me home with a disease or drug to look up. I enjoy doing it though, because I come away with a better knowledge of the field. Q: Do you work with a team of people at your internship? A: There is a whole team of people in the office, consisting of the dentist, the dental assistants, the hygienists, and the front office. The group works together to ensure proper patient care and an excellent experience at the office. 26 | ACADEMY SCIENTIFIC VOL 1.2

A: Absolutely. Dentistry has been my passion since I was 12 years old, and it continues to be. I have also been conditionally accepted into New Jersey Dental School’s 7-year dental program with Ramapo College, which I will be attending this fall. Senior Experience reaffirmed my conviction. Q: What is your favorite part of your internship? Why? A: My favorite part of my internship is sitting one-onone with the dentist and learning about some of the basic sciences. Because Dr. Heaney worked as a mentor to residents for most of his career, he has a profound amount of knowledge in the field. When we discuss some of the basic sciences, it ties in well with what I’ve learned in school and that’s the cool part. Q: Had you always wanted an internship like this? If so, what was it that made you always want this? A: I have always had plans to intern with a dentist. As I mentioned, I’ve been interested in dentistry since I was 12 years old, so there was no doubt as to what I wanted to do when September of senior year rolled along. Q: What did you consider when looking for an internship? A: Obviously, I wanted to make sure that I was at a dental office that was very willing to have me and to teach me. Dr. Heaney jumped on board immediately. Also, the commute was a factor, and since I live close to the office, it made it very easy to go there every Wednesday. I also wanted to make sure I could see myself there every week, which is important in any internship. If you don’t feel like you belong, you can’t be happy there. I never had that problem at Dr. Heaney’s office.

featured teacher dr. kim, nanotechnology supervisor + interview conducted by thomas silver, amst senior Q: What is your philosophy of education? A: When people see me, I think they think of me as a research mentor, even though I teach chemistry electives as well. But my teaching philosophy is a little different than other research mentors in the building. Research in my mind is used to educate what we learn in science classes more in detail. I try to make sure I provide more connections through the research program to further your understanding of what you learn in science class. Q: In what ways have your college experiences prepared you for a career? A: I went to college in South Korea and the environment back then was quite different. Usually what happens in East Asian countries is that you work like a slave in high school. So basically I didn’t have a life. In high school there is no Sunday, no sleep, etc. But once I got to college, I had a lot of freedom. I really didn’t study much because I would rather go out and meet people. But during college I did do a Saturday English club, and that really got me prepared for the career I have now. Q: What jobs did you have before you were a teacher? A: Three years ago, I was at Stevens Institute. Right after that, I went to City College in New York as a Postdoc. Then I went to work for a commercial material science company. I had to come up with the most cost effective ways to use different materials by looking at and analyzing data. Nanotechnology Symposium with BCA Students and Dr. Kim!

Q: When did you first become interested in teaching? A: When I was in elementary school, both my parents were professors. During finals, they needed my help putting grades in. I did a lot of statistics for all these university students. Laughs. That’s when I became interested in education. Q: What are your greatest strengths as a teacher? A: I think I know how to talk to our students. Compared to other schools, our students are a little different. Because we have seven different academies, we have a lot of diversity, but I think I am able to talk to most people in a way that they understand. I am able to connect a lot with students from the Asian community, and even with the other students, I can speak to what they actually go through, especially what parental issues they may have. I’m always interested in what they go through in school and out. Even

Nanotechnology Explorations Summer 2011 at the Bergen County Academies

though I’m 40 years old, I try to keep up with the movies, like Mean Girls.

without knowing me very well, even when I didn’t speak English very well.

Q: How do you determine or evaluate success?

Q: What school subjects did you like best? Why?

A: It’s very subjective. I don’t want to say, ‘getting into a really great college,’ ‘getting an award,’ ‘making a lot of money’ because it’s all very subjective. I usually tell this story. When I was in college in South Korea, one of the senior upperclassmen told me this story. One of his upperclassmen did really well; he got into a really great college, graduated valedictorian, went on to study abroad, got a doctorate, got a really great job making a lot of money, and even got married to a beautiful wife. He also had kids, but for some reason, the kids could not really study well. So now, he is really depressed. It’s kind of an odd story, but the basic lesson is that no matter what you do, you’re going to get compared. You go to Harvard for example and everyone looks up to you. But does it stop there? No. They’re going to look at your job, your salary, your marriage status, your kids, the proponents of your kid. Isn’t that really crazy? But that’s society. I want our students to break free from that. If you just focus on that, it will never end. For me, success is “are you really happy now?”

A: Definitely chemistry. It was just fascinating and I had a really good teacher. I think probably because my father was also a biochemist I learned quite a bit from watching him memorize his biochemistry textbook every night. It was very natural for me to like that subject. I also liked French a lot, probably because that teacher was very good as well.

Q: What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction? Why?

A: Have a dream. What I normally see when people are interested in my research is that when I ask them what they would do with unlimited possibilities, it takes a long time for them to answer. Unfortunately, I don’t think many people have a really good dream: what kind of people they want to become, what they really want to do. Don’t just follow through the career path that is set up for you. Have a dream.

A: I wouldn’t really say it was an accomplishment, but the first thing I was really happy about was my daughter being born. That’s not really something I did, actually; my wife did most of the work. Laughs. But that was really one of the most joyous times because it really opened my eyes. I will definitely keep that memory no matter what. The second one was to work in the lab at Stevens. Although it was not very well known, I really enjoyed it. I am really indebted to my thesis advisor for taking me in 28 | ACADEMY SCIENTIFIC VOL 1.2

Q: What school subjects did you like the least? Why? A: Well it was during the Cold War, so all the boys had to go through military exercises every week. We had mock guns and we learned how to kill people. I think they eventually abolished it, but that was pretty bad. We didn’t actually practice shooting the guns, but it was not a great thing nonetheless. Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to BCA students?

school news


aast is victorious at stanford math tournament (smt) once again + winnie lau, aast sophomore, competitor at smt

AAST Mu A (from left to right) Michael Sun, Robert Lin, James Mayers, Steven Ahn, Jongwhan Park, Alex Zhu, Yumi Song, Chan Rao.

During the snowy days of February in New Jersey, the AAST math team was able to escape to the sunny state of California for an adventure at Googleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s headquarters in San Francisco and the annual Stanford Math Tournament. After a six-hour plane ride, the math team, led by chaperones Dr. Abramson, Mr. Wojcik, Dr. Nevard, Mr. Golden, Mrs. Golden, Mrs. Sun, and Mrs. Safira, and math team captains Alex Kim and Robert Lin, arrived in California. The team first took a tour at the Computer Science History Museum. The museum, one of only two left in the world, is filled with antique computers, calculators, and robots. The exhibits range from one million dollar calculators and rulers to the first computer used for the U.S. Census. After the tour, the math team was treated to an exclusive tour of Google led by a former BCA student. Everyone was surprised by Googleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work environment. There were sandy volleyball courts, massage chairs, a swimming pool, and even a dinosaur statue with flamingoes.

The Math Team visits the beach right outside of Ghirardelli Square. ACADEMY SCIENTIFIC VOL 1.2 | 29

The next day was the Stanford Math Competition, an extremely competitive competition with teams from all over the world including those from China and Iran. After a long power round, a strenuous team round, and a two-hour individual round, the competition was over. As the team waited for results, a lecture on the mathematical properties of doodles was given by a Stanford math professor. The AAST math team won numerous awards at the proceeding ceremony. The Individual Awards were awarded to the highest scorers in each of the five different tests: General, Geometry, Calculus, Advanced Topics, and Algebra. The General test was two hours long, whereas each of the other tests was one hour long. Chan Rao and Alex Zhu, juniors in AAST, were chosen as finalists in their categories, Algebra and Calculus respectively, and competed vigorously with additional tiebreaker problems. After intense tiebreakers, Chan Rao earned second place in Algebra while Jongwhan Park, a sophomore in AAST, took fourth place. In Calculus, Alex Zhu took second place. In Geometry, Jongwhan Park placed fourth. In Advanced

Topics, Robert Lin, a math team captain and a senior in AAST, placed eighth. In General, Sawwon Lee, a junior in ABF, placed eighth. AAST also did very well in the team rounds. AAST Mu A, the highest team for AAST, placed first in the team round and second in the power round. Ultimately, AAST Mu A placed first in the overall competition, defeating math teams from all over California, Iran, Canada, and China. The math team celebrated their victories with a relaxing day touring San Francisco. After trekking the city’s infamous hills, they took a train from Palo Alto to San Francisco and walked to places such as Chinatown and Ghirardelli Square. Some math team members were even able to meet Mark Zuckerberg at Kara’s Cupcakes! Steven Ahn, a junior in AAST, described San Francisco as “simply awesome.” After the trip, Alex Zhu concluded, “Though we did our fair share of math in Palo Alto, it wasn’t the only thing we did. Chilling out in the cozy California climate with friends was the most memorable part of the trip.”

continuing momentum of physics team accomplishments

+ yuriko inaba, aast senior, competitor in science olympiad and physics olympics The physics department at Bergen County Academy has organized students to participate in eminent physics competitions for the past three years. With his Wednesday project and school club Physics Olympiad, and school club Science Olympiad, Dr. Igor Zubov prepares students for competitions. Every year, many students participate and achieve numerous honorable accomplishments. Science Olympiad is an annual competition in which

(clockwise from left to right) Janet Park, Teresa Fan, Yuriko Inaba, and Jean Huang work on modifying their cantilever for the Physics Olympics, which won 2nd place overall, following 1st place captured by another Bergen County Academy team.


schools send teams of up to 15 students to compete in various science events. These events test knowledge and involve hands-on activities in genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology, mechanical engineering, and technology. The Science Olympiad for high school students requires preparation, commitment, coaching, and practice throughout the year. This year, the team from Bergen County Academy consisted of 14 students, who attended the regional competition in January, which took place at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The team placed 10th out of over 20 teams, which qualified them to the State Finals Tournament, which Bergen Academies goes to every year. Honorable accomplishments at the regional level include: Justin Zhang and Justin Kim placing 3rd place in Chemistry Lab, Teresa Fan and Jean Huang placing 3rd place in Write-It, Do-It, and Rohil Bhatnagar and Paul Kim placing 4th place in Optics. The State Finals Tournament took place in March at Middlesex County College in Edison, New Jersey. Honorable accomplishments at the state level included: 1st place in Technical Problem Solving, 6th place in Microbe Mission, 7th place in WriteIt, Do-It, 10th place in Chemistry Lab, and 10th place in Mission Possible. Physics Olympics is another contest that the physics team participates in. Physics Olympics consists of six events, most of which involve preparation and building prior to the competition day. Four teams of six students attended this competition this January at Monmouth High School. The team of seniors that consisted of Brian

Gu, Weili Png, Eric Lee, Jason Choi, Pavel Shibaev, and Sungjae Lee took home a trophy, winning first place in the Fermi Question event. Physics Olympiad is a contest that is sponsored by American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and the American Institute of Physics to choose students to represent the United States at the International Physics Olympiad Competition. The preliminary exam, called the F=ma contest, is a multiple-choice test that is held at school. This test is held in January, and the top 300 to 400 scorers on the F=ma contest take the Semifinal Exam. Beating last year’s record of seven semifinalists, this year there were nine. Those students include Brian Gu, I-Jui Lee, Won I Lee, Robert Lin, Alex Radek, Michael Tan, Austin Wang, Justin Zhang, and Alex Zhu. Teamwork is a key skill in these contests, so congratulations to all those who participated! We look forward to the Physics Bowl, which will be held in April, and we look forward for even greater success next year in all these competitions.

Rohil Bhatnagar (left) and Justin Kim (right) test their catapult before the Physics Olympics.

six bergen county academies students named 2011 intel semifinalists + jenny chen, amst senior

On January 12, 2011, INTEL announced the 300 out of 1,744 high school seniors who were chosen to move on as Intel semifinalists. This year, six of these 300 semifinalists are from BCA. The Intel Science Talent Search (STS) is America’s oldest and most prestigious pre-college science competition. Each year, about 1,600 U.S. high school seniors enter the Intel STS by submitting their original science projects. These projects tackle challenging scientific questions from a variety of different scientific fields including biochemistry, chemistry, mathematics, physics, engineer-

ing, medicine and health, and behavioral science. Each completed entry consists of the written description of the student’s independent research as well as an entry form of the student’s excellence and accomplishments. This is a list of the selected BCA semifinalists and projects: JUNYOUNG (JASON) CHOI (AAST) - Paclitaxel Drug Delivery to MDA-MB-231 Breast Cancer Cells with Fluorescently Tagged Glycol-Chitosan Nanoparticle Conjugates as Excipients for Maximizing the Antitumor Effect and Minimizing Cytotoxicity. SHIVANI SHAH (AMST) - Creating a Dead End for Cancer: The Role of LPA Receptors 1/3 and 2 in Ovarian Cancer Metastases. KHUSHALI UPADHYAY (AAST) - The Effects of Azadirichita indica Leaf Extract on the Immune System APEXA MODI (AMST) - The Effects of Ginkgo Biloba and Ascorbic Acid on Smoking Induced Pulmonary Disease. AUGUSTINA MENSA-KWAO (AMST) - From the Frying Pan to the Fire AUSTIN WANG (AAST) - Incorporating Fill Pressure and Absorption Power in a Plasma Model for Study of the Magnetorotational Instability in the Laboratory

{Source: Fox Chapel High School}

Each student was awarded $1000 and an additional $1000 to the school, resulting in a total of $12,000 awarded to the six students and BCA. ACADEMY SCIENTIFIC VOL 1.2 | 31


2010-2011 BCA AWARD WINNERS IN S *GRADE LEVELS REFLECT THE 2011 INTEL SEMI-FINALISTS + Junyoung (Jason) Choi - Paclitaxel Drug Delivery to MDA-MB-231 Breast Cancer Cells with Fluorescently Tagged Glycol-Chitosan Nanoparticle Conjugates as Excipients for Maximizing the Antitumor Effect and Minimizing Cytotoxicity. + Shivani Shah - Creating a Dead End for Cancer: The Role of LPA Receptors 1/3 and 2 in Ovarian Cancer Metastases. + Khushali Upadhyay - The Effects of Azadirichita indica Leaf Extract on the Immune System + Apexa Modi - The Effects of Ginkgo Biloba and Ascorbic Acid on Smoking Induced Pulmonary Disease. + Augustina Mensa-Kwao - From the Frying Pan to the Fire + Austin Wang - Incorporating Fill Pressure and Absorption Power in a Plasma Model for Study of the Magnetorotational Instability in the Laboratory 2011 REGIONAL SCIENCE OLYMPIAD + Justin Zhang and Justin Kim, Grade 11, 3rd in Chemistry Lab + Teresa Fan and Jean Huang, Grade 11, 3rd in Write-It, Do-It + Rohil Bhatnagar and Paul Kim, Grade 12, 4th in Optics 2011 STATE SCIENCE OLYMPIAD + 1st place in Technical Problem Solving + 6th place in Microbe Mission + 7th place in Write-It, Do-It + 10th place in Chemistry Lab + 10th place in Mission Possible STANFORD MATH TOURNAMENT + Licheng Rao, Grade 11, 2nd in Algebra + Jongwhan Park, Grade 10, 4th in Algebra, 4th in Geometry + Alex Zhu, Grade 11, 2nd in Calculus + Robert Lin, Grade 10, 8th in Advanced Topics + Sawwon Lee, Grade 11, 8th in General + AAST Mu A, 1st in team round, 2nd in power round, 1st overall


NJRSF 2011 ISEF Team Award + Won Ik (Ryan) Lee, Grade 12 + Hong Joon Park, Grade 11 This team also picked up 4th place in Category and the 2nd Team Navy Award at ISEF! NJIT Academic Fellowship + George Masanori Iwaoka, Grade 11 + Ariana Aimani, Grade 11 (Alternate) ISEF Symposium Finalists + Jun Park, Grade 11 + Shivani Vinay Shah, Grade 12 + Christine J Ha, Grade 11 + Junyoung Choi, Grade 12 + Supriya Rastogi, Grade 12 Partners in Science Award + Michelle Rudshteyn, Grade 11 + Emily An-Li Tu, Grade 11 + Raedah Ali, Grade 11 NJIT Summer Academy Scholarship + Christine J Ha, Grade 11 D&B Award for Independent Student Research + Hadar Lazar, Grade 11 Rutgers Presidential Awards + Won Ik (Ryan) Lee, Grade 12 + Hong Joon Park, Grade 11 + Janice Yejin Sung, Grade 10 Four-Year NJRSF Entrant Awards + Shivani Vinay Shah, Grade 12 Category Awards Biochemistry + Michelle Rudshteyn, Grade 11, 1st + Raedah Ali, Grade 11, 2nd + Augustina Mensa-Kwao, Grade 12, 2nd + Khushali Upadhyay, Grade 12, 2nd + Emily An-Li Tu, Grade 11, 2nd + Ariana Aimani, Grade 11, 3rd + Ariela Safira, Grade 11, Honorable Mention


SCIENCE, MATH, AND TECHNOLOGY E 2010-2011 SCHOOL YEAR Category Awards (cont.) Biomedical Science + Thomas Silver, Grade 11, 2nd + George Masanori Iwaoka, Grade 11, 3rd + Janice Yejin Sung, Grade 10, 3rd + Aishwarya Raja, Grade 11, 3rd Cellular or Molecular Biology + Supriya Rastogi, Grade 12, 1st + Won Ik (Ryan) Lee, Grade 12, 2nd + Hong Joon Park, Grade 11, 2nd + Elizabeth Laura Dente, Grade 11, 3rd + Justin Kim, Grade 10, Honorable Mention Chemistry + Jae Seong No, Grade 12, 2nd + Donyoun Jang, Grade 12, 3rd Cancer Research + Jun Park, Grade 11, 1st + Shivani Vinay Shah, Grade 12, 1st + Bhasha Mukhopadhyay, Grade 12, 2nd + Eun-Be Kim, Grade 11, 2nd + Alan Hwang, Grade 11, 3rd + Hadar Lazar, Grade 11, 3rd Engineering + Henry Ling, Grade 12, 3rd Environmental Science + Christine J Ha, Grade 11, 1st General Biology + Jennifer Chan, Grade 10, 3rd Health and Physiology + Junyoung Choi, Grade 12, 1st + Archanna Radakrishnan, Grade 12, 2nd + Varsha Subramaniam, Grade 10, 3rd + Apexa Modi, Grade 12, Honorable Mention Microbiology + Regina Rijaa Cai, Grade 12, 1st + Anthony Rocco Arena, Grade 12, 1st + Alina Rose Fiato, Grade 10, Honorable Mention Physics and Materials + Pavel Petrovich Shibayev, Grade 12, 1st

American Chemical Society Award + Jae Song No, Grade 12, 1st + Pavel Petrovich Shibayev, Grade 12, 3rd Rutgers Student Awards + Aishwarya Raja, Grade 11, 2nd + Augustina Mensa-Kwao, Grade 12, 2nd + Winnie Wai-Yee Lau, Grade 10, 2nd + Khushali Upadhyay, Grade 12, 2nd + Ariana Aimani, Grade 11, 3rd + Varsha Subramaniam, Grade 10, 3rd + Elizabeth Laura Dente, Grade 11, 3rd Theobald Smith Society Award in Microbiology + Regina Rijia Cai, Grade 12, 1st + Anthony Rocco Arena, Grade 12, 2nd Army First Place Project Award + Archanna Radakrishnan, Grade 12 + George Masanori Iwaoka, Grade 11 Army Achievement Award + Jae Seong No, Grade 12 + Victoria ShiZhen Png, Grade 12 + Daniel Pierce Radin, Grade 10 + Shivani Vinay Shah, Grade 12 + Leah Okrainsky, Grade 11 + Paul Michael Armenta, Grade 12 + Ysa Esquilin, Grade 11 In Vitro Biology Award + Michelle Rudshteyn, Grade 11 + Ariana Aimani, Grade 11 Material Science Award + Junyoung Choi, Grade 12 NOAA Award + Henry Ling, Grade 12 Office of Naval Research Award + Jae Seong No, Grade 12 Stockholm Junior Water Prize + Ji Soo (Janet) Park, Grade 11 + Christine J Ha, Grade 11 Yale Science and Engineering Award + Leah Okrainsky, Grade 11


Bergen County Technical Schools â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Bergen County Technical School District is an educational model that prepares students to live, work and lead in a global community.â&#x20AC;?

Bergen County Technical Schools Board of Education Lazaro Carvajal........................................................................................................................President William Connelly.............................................................................................................. Vice President Robert M. Gilmartin............................................................................Executive County Superintendent Marie E. La Testa............................................................................................................Board Member William J. Meisner, Ed.D.................................................................................................Board Member Central Office Administration Howard Lerner, Ed.D. ....................................................................................................Superintendent Andrea Sheridan............................................................................................. Assistant Superintendent Richard Panicucci.............................................Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction John Susino............................................................................ Business Administrator/Board Secretary Bergen County Executive Kathleen A. Donovan Board of Chosen Freeholders John Driscoll, Jr...................................................................................................................... Chairman Maura DeNicola.......................................................................................................... Vice Chairwoman John D. Mitchell........................................................................................................ Chair Pro Tempore John A. Felice .......................................................................................................................Freeholder David L. Ganz .......................................................................................................................Freeholder Robert G. Hermansen...........................................................................................................Freeholder Bernadette P. McPherson......................................................................................................Freeholder BCA Campus Administration Russell Davis............................................................................................................................ Principal Raymond Bath................................................................................................................. Vice Principal Dr. David Niedosik.................................................................................................................Supervisor

Designed by Emily Tu & Printed by Students and Staff at BCA


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