Janelle Tam, 16 year old teenager won award in Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC) competition for her ground breaking work on anti aging properties of tree pulp.
The theme of the competition is “How will you change the world?” inspired the hundreds of students to participate in the SBCC competition. Janelle Tam presented her findings that the cellulose, the woody material found in trees that enables them to stand, also acts as a potent anti-oxidant. Cellulose is made up of tiny nano particles called nano-crystalline cellulose (NCC). Her research has won her $5000 (Rs. 2.68 lakh).
NCC is non-toxic, stable, soluble in water and renewable, since it comes from trees,” says Janelle, a Grade 12 student at Waterloo Collegiate Institute.
Her super anti-oxidant compound could one day help improve health and anti-aging products by neutralizing more of the harmful free-radicals found in the body," Bioscience Education Canada said in a statement.
NCC is obtained from the pulp of trees in a process that is similar to how pulp is isolated for paper making. It is a rod-shaped nano scale material with exceptional strength and physicochemical properties that makes it a promising reinforcing agent.
Janelle, chemically ‘paired’ NCC with a well-known nano particle called a Buckminster fullerene. These ‘buckyballs’ are already used in cosmetic and anti-aging products she says. The new NCC-buckyball combination acted like a ‘nano-vacuum,’ sucking up free radicals and neutralizing them.
The results were really exciting,” she says and especially since cellulose is already used as filler and stabilizer in many vitamin products. One day those products may be super-charged free radical neutralizers thanks to NCC, she hopes.
When we founded the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada 19 years ago we believed then, as we do now, in the potential of our youth to develop the next big breakthrough in science," said Sanofi Pasteur Canada President Mark Lievonen, who presented the first place prize.