Stefan Kemmerich from North Rhine-Westphalia impressed the judges in the Biology category. Kemmerich, 14, investigated the presence of tardigrades in mosses. He found out that the composition of the communities of these tiny organisms, which are less than one millimeter long, is mainly influenced by light and moisture.
Jugend forscht - Category Biology
Doing Research in Biology
Young researchers in the Biology category examine microorganisms, observe animals in their natural habitats and communities, identify plants, and analyze water and soil samples. Various issues in molecular biology, biomedicine, biochemistry, and biotechnology are also addressed here.
Highlight Projects 2016
Blood Sugar and the Menstruation Cycle
The menstruation cycle influences diabetic women’s sensitivity to insulin. But what are the connections between the menstruation cycle, blood sugar levels, and hormone levels? Sara-Luisa and Anja-Sophia Reh decided to find out. The two sisters studied the blood sugar levels and insulin intake of Anja-Sophia over several months and discovered that the effectiveness of the insulin increased in the first half of the menstrual cycle up to ovulation, and then declined afterwards. The researchers utilized the readings they took to develop a mathematical formula that they then used to create an app. After a diabetic user enters her personal data, the app tells her every day whether she needs to raise or lower her insulin dosage, and by how much. Thanks to the app, Anja-Sophia’s blood sugar levels have become more stable and she has been able to avoid sharp fluctuations. The two sisters took first prize in the Biology category in 2016.
Effect of Various Light Spectra on the Formation of Selected Secondary Metabolites
Plant metabolism is more strongly influenced by the light spectrum than was previously believed, as Alexander Rotsch discovered. Rotsch irradiated small Arabidopsis thaliana plants with red and blue LED lamps and then extracted various metabolic products from the plants and identified them on the basis of their mass. In the process, he also discovered two substances whose light dependency was previously unknown. As it turns out, when Arabidopsis thaliana plants are exposed to blue light, they form more substances that can repel dangerous pathogens. Rotsch concluded that the composition of light plays an important role in a plant’s development of its chemical immune system. His work captured the award for Best Interdisciplinary Project in 2016.