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Brainy South continues streak

By Jesse Zhang
Published: March 2008

“If you gave a rat with a spinal cord injury a drug that blocked the action of the NOGO-A protein¦.
Most students would be lost responding to this question, but Senior Anna Nathanson correctly answered it, winning her the Boston Regional Brain Bee contest on February 2 and qualifying to compete in the National Brain Bee.
“I was happy. It’s always great to win, Nathanson said. Nathanson described the contest as “not as intense as one would think, but she still had a great time. Her first place win also earned her $350.
Anna Nathanson first heard about the Boston Regional Brain Bee from her neuroscience teacher, Dr. Jordan Kraus.
Another South student, Senior Anjali Jacob placed fourth in the competition.
The Boston Regional Brain Bee is an annual contest where several high school students compete against each other about neuroscience. All questions come from the Brain Facts book published by the Society for Neuroscience. The topics include neurological disease, development, learning, and memory.
The Brain Bee even took about seven hours and began with a 100 multiple choice written test for all competitors. The top ten scorers moved on to the next stage: a live question-and-answer oral competition. The final round consisted of three stages of questions that the top ten contestants were asked to answer, ranging from easy to hard. In total, about 20 to 25 rounds took place throughout the oral part of the contest.
“The competition did become competitive during the final round. The only people left were me and another girl, Nathanson said.
After the contest, competitors were allowed to attend lectures and presentations about neuroscience.
Nathanson is currently preparing for the National Brain Bee that will be held on March 14 and 15 in Baltimore, Maryland. The winner of the National competition is awarded $3000 and participates in the international competition.
Anna Nathanson’s success at the Brain Bee also marks the fourth consecutive year that a Newton South Student won first place.

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