We are beyond proud of our 5th year students Aaron Dinesh and Matthew O’Dwyer who have represented us so well at this year’s BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. Their project entitled Mors a Vita – A study into the antibacterial properties of the basic building blocks of life saw them develop an antibiotic from amino acids.
We asked Aaron to tell us a small bit about their project and his experience taking part in what is one of the largest and longest running STEM events in the world.
‘Our study is entitled Mors a Vita (Death from Life), which captures the essence of our project; to create death from the very building blocks of life.
After serendipitously stumbling across a 1969 research paper about the antibacterial properties of Glycine earlier this year, we were immediately intrigued. When we researched the topic further, we found there were very few research papers on such a topic and with the rise of antibiotic resistant superbugs, we knew what we had to do.
Developing an antibiotic is no easy task. After spending a few days in the library at DIT we understood how bacteria grow and how we could inhibit this growth. Armed with this knowledge, we ran a screening test with E. coli and found inhibitors of over 90%. However, more testing was certainly needed to validate these results and so with the help of Dr Paul Corcoran for the experiments and with financial support from Peter and Una Kearns, directors of The Institute of Education, we ordered several other strains of bacteria which we now plan to experiment with.
The BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition is a time of much learning; a time when students across the 36 counties get out of their comfort zones, tackle the problems in our society head-on and present their ingenious and novel solution. And that is exactly what we did.’