TORONTO - A 16-year-old student from Saskatoon has taken top prize at a Canada-wide science competition for genetic research that could one day help farmers grow ''designer wheat.''
Grade 10 student Scott Adams won the $5,000 first prize in the Sanofi-Aventis BioTalent Challenge for showing a novel way to turn off a gene in wheat that alters its starch elements.
The discovery might make it possible for farmers to grow customized wheat for different markets, ranging from textiles to foods such as pasta and bread.
Eighteen-year-old Joseph McNeil of Cape Breton, N.S., was awarded the $4,000 second-place prize for using green tea to promote nerve growth in a study related to Lou Gehrig's disease.
Scott and McNeil will compete for Canada at the International BioGENEius Challenge in Atlanta in June.
The winners of the national science competition for students aged 15 to 18 were announced in Ottawa today.