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YPIE Scientist: Rania

Updated: Jun 10, 2022

Research: Hemotological Analysis of Polychlorinated Bipheyls in Fish from the Hudson

Awards: Somers Science Fair 2022 Participant

Mentors: Joel Rodriguez and Jason Bonet

Research Location: Groundwork HV Science Barge


Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are synthetic chemicals that have been shown to cause in humans an increased risk for developing melanomas, liver cancer, gallbladder cancer, biliary tract cancer, gastrointestinal tract cancer, and brain cancer, and breast cancer. PCBs have also been linked to a variety of cancers in rats, mice, and other laboratory animals. The presence of these chemicals in the environment is due to improper disposal of these chemicals. Due to their unique properties, such as chemical stability, low volatility, insulativity, and non-flammability, PCB decomposition is difficult. PCBs have been linked to a number of health issues, but it is unclear which processes are involved. More evidence is required to support the dangers of PCBs. The goal of this study is to observe nutrition, water quality, stress, or pathogens, specifically PCBs, in fish from the Hudson or a proven containment-maintained body of water using hematological analyses. Fish will be collected and hemotogically analyzed with the assistance of a lab or mentor, and the results will be compared to healthy fish. Methodology will follow protocols outlined by Gobeillea et al in 2005, in which the researchers evaluated associations between body burden of mercury and local fish consumption using questionnaires of people who reported eating fish from local bodies of water. Previous results have shown a positive dose–response relationship. This study's findings are expected to follow the same pattern. Fish in the Hudson or any body of water with high PCB concentrations will have significant differences in blood components like glucose, hormones, proteins, and so on. The findings of this study will aid in determining the health effects of PCBs in fish, allowing us to better understand the consequences of PCB exposure.

About this Scientist:

Rania Khan is a sophomore at Gorton High School who is pursuing an associate's degree in Applied Science/Health Information Technology along with her regular high school diploma. Her current scientific goal is to measure the impact of nearby environments, such as the Hudson River and local factories, on water quality. Her original research was more medically focused, but she believes it is critical to "raise more awareness for the local environment and animal health, as well as human health, because they are all deeply intertwined." Rania aspires to be a doctor or a medical ethics lawyer in the future.

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