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A Radical Theory: Why Antioxidants May Not Always Be Good

Student: Kurtis Turnbull

District/Region: Chignecto Central Region

Event: 2010 Canada-Wide Science Fair

Grade 12 - Pictou Academy-Dr. T. McCulloch School

Antioxidants are generally considered to be beneficial to cells because of their ability to impede the damaging effects of free radicals. However, recent studies have shown that free radicals, specifically reactive oxygen species (ROS), promote the differentiation of stem cells into somatic cells.

This experiment measured the ability of planaria to regenerate through differentiation under varying levels of antioxidants to determine if a reduction in ROS, caused by antioxidants, impairs differentiation. From the results it was concluded that elevated levels of antioxidants may impair the capacity for differentiation in planaria. Thus, this project suggests that antioxidants may not always be good.

2010 CWSF
  • Bronze Medal - Life Sciences - Intermediate Division
  • $2000.00 in Scholarships: University of Western Ontario ($1000) - University of Ottawa ($1000)

Kurtis Turnbull

Kurtis Turnbull - A Radical Theory: Why Antioxidants May Not Always Be Good

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