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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 20, 2017

Chhalliyil named Iowa BioGENEius at science fair

Apr 06, 2017
PHOTO SUBMITTED Pranav Chhalliyil, a sophomore at Maharishi School, is winner of the 2017 Iowa BioGENEius Challenge at the 60th Iowa State Science and Technology Fair 2017.

The Iowa Biotechnology Association has named Pranav Chhalliyil, a sophomore at Maharishi School, as winner of the 2017 Iowa BioGENEius Challenge at the 60th Iowa State Science and Technology Fair 2017.

Chhalliyil topped among the top five high school projects chosen from the whole fair which were selected to compete at the BioGENEius Challenge.

He also was awarded the Honorary Mention Grand Champion at the State Science and Technology Fair 2017, and was also an EISEF finalist at the Eastern Iowa Science and Engineering Fair 2017.

The 2017 Iowa BioGENEius Challenge for high school students, recognizes outstanding research and innovation in the biotechnology field. This year, it is held in San Diego and Chhalliyil, who won a paid trip to BioGENEius, will compete against 17 top Biogenius students from U.S., Canada and Germany in the International BioGENEius Challenge, at the BIO International Convention in June, a networking meeting with 2,500 CEOs and 16,000 attendees from 76 countries and 1,800-plus exhibiting companies. At the convention, Chhalliyil will engage with leading companies, scientists and innovators currently transforming the scientific landscape in order to gain invaluable insights into an industry making significant contributions to the world. He also will receive an IowaBio SSTFI College Scholarship.

Chhalliyil also received a paid trip to INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles for the fourth time in May. The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of Society for Science & the Public, is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. Each year, approximately 1,800 high school students from more than 75 countries, regions, and territories are awarded the opportunity to showcase their independent research and compete for on average $4 million in prizes.

Chhalliyil’s continued oral research study found that the GIFTS method of simply rubbing the teeth and gums with finger and swishing water after every meal, drink or snack, is a simple and practical way to prevent formation of dental biofilm that later matures as plaque, and causes inflammation and other deadly diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart diseases. He used Next Generation DNA Sequencing technology to see the entire oral microbiome in saliva, plaque, and tongue scraps of 75 subjects. He also found that nano charcoal was also very effective because of its nano pores which adsorb many signaling and sticky polymer molecules that are needed to form biofilm. This is in contrast to merely brushing with toothpaste, which was found ineffective in preventing microbes that set stage in dental biofilm formation. Chhalliyil found that his nano charcoal toothpaste does not cause damage to enamel, and is safer than some hard toothbrushes and toothpastes on the market, that can cause dental abrasion.

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