"I didn't really think this could happen. I called my parents right after and they congratulated me," said Pickel. His research project, "The Genetics of Gender Determination: A study of Novel Genes," found the cause for the 46, XY sexual reversal condition, a very rare condition in which an individual demonstrates intersex organs from birth. Pickel explained it is a substantial finding because he is the only person to have discovered that the mutation, MAP3k1, causes this condition.As a semifinalist, Pickel will receive $1,000 and an additional $1,000 will be given to his high school. However, if Pickel becomes one of the 40 finalists, which was to be announced Jan. 31 on Science Service's Web site, he will have the chance to win the first place prize of a $100,000 scholarship, along with a laptop given to all finalists. Is Pickel reaching for the top final prize?"I don't think people shoot for the finals. They shoot for the semifinals, and that is an honor in itself," he said.
©2007 Community News Group
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