LOGAN, Utah — A 14-year-old boy from Utah won two awards in a national STEM competition Tuesday.
Gary Zhan from Logan received second place in the technology category from the Broadcom MASTERS competition for improving upon a way to make an alternative to synthetic blue dye using bacteria.
He also received the Scott A. McGregor Leadership Award after fellow finalists elected him to represent their class as a speaker at the awards ceremony.
Gary's discovered a way to help bacteria generate blue dye, called indigoidine, at a lower temperature. His method also boosted bacteria production of the blue dye by 28 percent.
As part of his second-place award, Gary received $2,500 for a STEM summer camp experience in the U.S. and an iPad. Gary aspires to become a synthetic biologist one day.
"With genome editing, we may cure many diseases that are caused by genetic mutations," he said.