At the NJ Science Olympiad, 24 high schools teams demonstrated their knowledge of proteins shown to have reprogrammed adult cells into pluripotent stem cells.
Teams submitted hand-built 3D models of the zinc finger protein found in PDB entry 2wbu on the morning of the event. The models represented the protein backbone, with additional points awarded for structures with details that highlighted important parts of the structure (such as zinc atoms).
During the event itself, the students quickly built a model of homeobox protein Nanog (PDB ID 2kt0) and answered questions on a written exam. Teams used the Molecule of the Month, Jmol, and other resources to help prepare for this event.
RCSB PDB team members judged this competition, and met with teams at the end of the day to discuss results.
Congratulations to all participating teams--there were many great models, abstracts, and responses to the written exam. Several models received perfect scores, and the challenging exam had many strong responses. Places 4-6 were decided by tiebreak questions.
Top Protein Modeling Results1. J.P. Stevens HS (98.75)
2. Princeton (95)
3. Livingston HS (93.5)
4. West Windsor Plainsboro South (92)
5. Hillsborough (92)
6. South Brunswick HS (92)
The final results and a video demonstrating how models are built for this competition are available at education.pdb.org.