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Intel fetes Pinoy student for developing fungicide vs ‘banana blight’








(May 22, 2013)  Judel Jay Tabsing of Panabo National High School won fourth place in the plant sciences division of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for developing a possible fungicide for the dreaded “banana blight”.

Banana blight is caused by a particular type of fungus that quickly spreads from plant to plant, potentially wiping out an entire country’s supply of bananas. In the 1950s, the blight spread through central America from Panama –hence the term, “Panama Disease“.

“From Philippines, Judel Jay Tabsing from Panabo National High School won fourth award in the plant sciences: agriculture and agronomy category and awarded $500.00 for his project entitled ‘impatiens balsamina leaf extract as potential fungicide against fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense tropical race four causing fusarium wilt of banana,’” Intel said.

The tilt is the world’s largest high school science research competition. Tabsing was one of some 1,600 young scientists chosen to compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. This year’s scientists were chosen from 433 affiliate fairs in more than 70 countries, regions and territories.

Romanian Ionut Budisteanu, 19, received the Gordon E. Moore Award, a $75,000 prize for using artificial intelligence to build a low-cost, self-driving car. Ionut noted that in 2004, car accidents caused 2.5 million deaths worldwide. He aims to address this with a $4,000 system that uses 3-D radar and mounted cameras.

Meanwhile, Eesha Khare, 18, of Saratoga, Calif. received the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award of $50,000, for developing a tiny charger that fits inside cell phone batteries and charges them in 20 to 30 seconds. Khare’s invention has potential applications for car batteries, Intel said.

Henry Lin, 17, of Shreveport, La. also received the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award of $50,000 for By simulating thousands of clusters of galaxies and allowing a better understanding of astrophysics, including dark matter, dark energy and the balance of heating and cooling in the universe’s most massive objects.

“We support the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair because we believe that science and math are the foundation of innovation, which is imperative for global economic growth and advancing society,” said Wendy Hawkins, executive director of the Intel Foundation.

Hawkins added the competition seeks to encourage millions of students worldwide to “explore their passion for math and science while developing solutions for global challenges.”

Meanwhile, the Intel Foundation also awarded a $1,000 grant to each winner’s school and to the affiliated fair they represent.

Meanwhile, Intel said this is the first year that all Intel International Science and Engineering Fair finalists will get digital badges recognizing and rewarding their achievements in independent scientific and engineering research. TJD, GMA News

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