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CWSF 2014 - Windsor, Ontario

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While I was in India this summer, I noticed that a lot of houses including ours kept Holy Basil plants near the entrance, and that it was a common and old custom to do so. I asked my grandpa why this was so, and he speculated that it kept our surroundings and home clean from diseases such as cholera or malaria. I didn't think much of it, but when I came across a TED talk on bioluminescent V.fischeri bacteria, I thought that it would be interesting to quantify and reveal the anti-microbial properties of Holy Basil and other medicinal plants by studying the reduction of luminescence in the bacteria. Moving on, I would like to study the effect of Holy Basil on cholera, confirm its mode of action and invent a way to increase levels of linalool (an anti-bacterial compound in the plant) in Holy Basil. My best advice to other students is to keep mind, eyes and ears open at all times, the best inspiration is found in very unexpected places. At school I am on the Social Responsibility Council and volunteer at the hospital. I love to paint, sculpt and read. Future career: Biological sciences!

Devanshi Shukla

Quorum sensing: A novel approach for identifying anti-microbial herbal plants
City:Guelph, ON
School:Centennial Collegiate & Vocational Institute
Abstract:Measuring reduction of luminescence in V. fischeri due to the addition of 6 medicinal plants (Holy Basil, Cumin, Coriander, Nutmeg, Turmeric & Artemisia) is a new approach for quantifying the efficiency of their anti-bacterial compounds. This research explored the effect of extracts in direct contact with bacteria as well as the volatile effect of fresh leaves and compounds without contact.

Awards Value
Challenge Award - Innovation
Sponsor: BlackBerry
Excellence Award - Intermediate
Gold Medal
Sponsor: Youth Science Canada
Western University Scholarship
Gold Medallist - $4000 Entrance Scholarship
Sponsor: Western University
$4 000.00
Total$5 450.00