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Patch Whiz Kids: Ms. Birone’s 9th Grade Class

This week Patch honors the ninth grade students enrolled in the science research class taught by Claire Birone for participating in a unique program.

This week Patch honors the ninth grade students enrolled in the science research class taught by Claire Birone. The class is collaborating with Brookhaven National Laboratory scientists and are learning to man the National Synchrotron Light Source facility.

The machine accelerates electrons to nearly the speed of light and bombard x-rays into crystallized proteins grown by each budding young scientist.

The research group is sharing theories and techniques and during the partnership students will have the chance to collect real-time x-ray diffraction data on their protein crystals using the Light Source. Their crystals are a version of lysozyme, a protein that has a structure unknown to the scientific community. This project not only provides the students with a hands-on learning opportunity but, pending their results, also enables them to be cited in a research publication.

The class was chosen to participate in this pilot sponsored by Brookhaven’s Structural Biology Department as part of their Protein Crystallography program. BNL researchers generously provided Babylon the necessary and costly equipment to crystallize proteins during class time.

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