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Tri-State Open Science Challenge Awards $16K to Four Citizen Scientists

4 Sean Preci on December 12, 2012

Scientist has announced four winners for its first Tri-State Open Science Challenge:

SAN DIEGO & NEW YORK — Scientist Inc., the world’s largest online research services marketplace, and Genspace selected four citizen scientists as winners for the first Tri-State Open Science Challenge. The challenge has awarded prizes for general science, BioArt, and under 18, as well as a fourth award sponsored by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

The winners of the $5000 prizes are as follows:

Kazi Yasin Helal - working on enzyme-based stain removal
Peter Yeadon - constructing a bimolecular sensor system for arsenic and other chemicals
Terreform ONE team - building genetically generated furniture

Jalwa Afroz, our high school winner, will receive $1000 to perform DNA barcoding of NYC catfish.

All winners receive a one-year membership to the Genspace community laboratory in Brooklyn, New York.

“Winning the prize means I can start being my own investigator,” says Kazi Yasin Helal, Salk prize winner. “I have the control and resources to conduct research based on my own idea. I can now meet people passionate about their work at Genspace as well as try experiments I couldn’t originally do with Scientist.”

The Tri-State Open Science Challenge aims to promote research ideas from all sources to try out their idea or take their existing research to the next level. Our committee of experts (Renee Yew, Jeff Hager, and Kent Pryor) selected winners based on significance, quality, and need for lab space and services.

“It appealed to me because the three prizes were very broad in their scope, and the Challenge welcomed amateurs that are working on projects of merit,” said Peter Yeadon, winner of the DTRA award. “The DTRA Prize will certainly help raise awareness of the project, while providing us with the right mix of support and supplies to complete a proof-of-concept prototype.”

The Tri-State Open Science Challenge marks the completion of the 2nd open competition held by Scientist with local community laboratories. In addition to partnerships with Genspace and BioCurious, Scientist plans to open a San Diego-based community lab in Carlsbad in 2013 to promote open science in the region.

About Scientist
Scientist is the world’s leading provider of outsourced scientific services. The company operates a network of online research marketplaces that dramatically streamline purchases between scientists and more than 8,000 global research vendors. Scientist is changing the way life science research is done. To learn more about Scientist’s enterprise software, visit To use Scientist’s free public marketplace, visit

About Genspace
Genspace is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting education in molecular biology for both children and adults. We work inside and outside of traditional settings, providing a safe, supportive environment for training and mentoring in biotechnology. To learn more, visit Genspace website at