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Jamie Lee Solimano, 17, of New York, used advanced microscopy techniques to study the distribution of proteins that send intracellular signals for her microbiology Intel Science Talent Search project. Most cells of vertebrate mammals have a primary cilium: a hair-like microtubule organelle that projects from the cell surface and contains structural and signaling proteins. If the function of these proteins is impaired, organisms are at risk for birth defects and an array of devastating diseases. Jamie treated her cell lines with lithium and then studied the arrangement and movement of primary cilia proteins using a high-resolution laser microscope. She captured, for the first time, images that clearly show an important signaling molecule (ACIII) lining the structure. She also observed that the arrangement of molecules attaching the primary cilia to the cell changed drastically when exposed to lithium. Her results may expand basic knowledge of how cells function and could aid understanding of the mechanisms of human disease. Jamie has performed at Open Mic events at Stuyvesant High School, where she also participates in a weekly writing workshop and contributes regularly to the literary magazine. Her mother is Eun Lee.
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