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Lane Gunderman, 18, of Chicago, used molecular dynamics simulations to explore the mechanics of energy transport in photosynthesis for the chemistry project he entered in the Intel Science Talent Search. He focused on the Fenna-Matthews-Olson complex (FMO), a pigment protein complex that transfers photons with near-perfect efficiency, and searched for possible explanations at the atomic level. His investigation centered on the resonance between the molecular components in FMO responsible for selective light absorption and their protein scaffolding. The results of his calculations show the specific, localized motions that had been hypothesized in 2007 but never before proved. Lane believes these motions are not great enough to be the dominant efficiency driver, but hopes his insights can contribute to future efforts in creating synthetic materials that can mimic FMO efficiency. At The University of Chicago Laboratory High School, Lane competes on the math and science teams, captains the Quiz Bowl team and is co-captain of the linguistics team. He enjoys building with Legos and K'Nex, acting, singing and dancing. A two-time Silver Medalist in the National Latin Exam, he is the son of Becki Martello.
Learn about more Intel STS 2013 finalists.
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