NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
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Teens Make Their Mark in Addiction Science

Teens Make Their Mark in Addiction Science

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Sara Bellum
June 06, 2013

In May, NIDA announced the 2013 Addiction Science Award winners. Check out their amazing projects!

First Place: Screen Time and Teens

Zarin Ibnat Rahman of Brookings High School in South Dakota won first place with her project, The At-Risk Maturing Brain: Effects of Stress Paradigms on Mood, Memory, and Cognition in Adolescents and the Role of the Prefrontal Cortex. She explored how the amount of time spent looking at computer, phone, and other electronic screens affected teens’ mood, academic performance, and decision-making. Zarin found that too much screen time shaped teens’ sleeping patterns, which hurt their academic success and emotional health. 

Second Place: Alcohol and Zebrafish

Emory Morris Payne and Zohaib Majaz Moonis of Bancroft School in Massachusetts won second place with their project, The Effect of Ethanol on Beta Cell Development in Zebrafish. Emory and Zohaib looked at the relationship between alcohol exposure and the risk for type 1 diabetes in zebrafish. They found that as zebrafish embryos were exposed to more ethanol, a pure form of alcohol, the worse their pancreatic beta cells functioned. Pancreatic beta cells create insulin and are important for preventing diabetes.

Third Place: Bath Salts and Fruit Flies

Alaina Nicole Sonksen of Camdenton High School in Missouri won third place with her project, Determining the Behavioral and Physiological Effects of Pentedrone-Based Bath Salts on Drosophila Melangaster. Alaina examined how two types of baths salts affected the activity, feeding patterns, and death of fruit flies. She found that many flies died from exposure to bath salts and that bath salts made fruit flies eat less and act dazed.

The Addiction Science Awards are part of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Learn how to get involved. And watch for profiles of the winners on the SBB in coming months!

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