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Huntington Beach student ranks among top middle school scientists

Ishan Ghosh, 14, a Huntington Beach student, is among the top 300 middle school scientists in the country, according Broadcom Masters, a science, technology, engineering and math competition.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)
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At 14, Ishan Ghosh already boasts an impressive scientific resumé.

He ranks among the nation’s top 300 middle school scientists for a study he conducted as an eighth-grader at Samuel E. Talbert Middle School in Huntington Beach, according to Broadcom Masters, a science, technology, engineering and math competition.

Now a freshman at Edison High School, the teen was selected from among 2,348 applicants by a panel of scientists, engineers and educators.

“I’m happy at least somebody saw it and actually knew it and acknowledged it,” he said, referring to his project, which placed first in its category at a state science fair and then went on for review by Broadcom Masters.

Ishan’s project explored natural remedies that possess blood-thinning properties. Because long-term use of commercial blood thinners can cause side effects, he wanted to test natural alternatives.

He conducted his research using the enzymes bromelain, nattokinase and serrapeptase and purchased bovine plasma to test the remedies.

His study found that the clotting time of bovine plasma samples increased when treated with one of the three natural remedies. He said further research is needed to determine the efficacy in humans.

“At such a young age, his desire to help those who may be allergic to or present with detrimental side effects to medicines stood out,” Maya Ajmera, president and chief executive of Society for Science & the Public, said in an email Friday. “His findings of natural remedies is fabulous, and we’re excited to see where Ishan’s research leads.”

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Ishan also learned the importance of persistence. He contacted several university professors, asking if he could work in their labs, though none said yes because he wasn’t yet in high school.

But he won permission from a veterinarian, Dr. Gershon Alaluf, and was able to conduct his experiment at Canyon Animal Hospital in Laguna Beach.

His parents said they’re proud of their son and hope their bright student will continue flourishing now that he’s in high school.

“We are happy definitely as parents, but as a unit, it’s a lot of work,” said Parna, his mom.

Ishan is on to his next independent science project — data analysis on childhood leukemia.

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