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Students to present Triple Helix articles at AAAS

Four Cornell undergraduates will showcase their scholarly articles at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting, Feb. 17-21 in Washington, D.C.

Along with faculty presenters at the conference, including five from Cornell, students who write for the undergraduate scientific journal The Triple Helix will participate in a poster session exclusively to promote Triple Helix articles. They will join close to 60 others from various Triple Helix member universities including Brown, Cambridge and Harvard universities.

"Going to a poster session, sitting in front of the article and answering questions face-to-face with an expert gives the students very good real-world experience," said Zain Pasha '11, executive editor-in-chief of electronic publishing and member of the Triple Helix International Executive Management Team.

Raca Banerjee '13, a biology and society major, will present her article about the competition between preventative health care measures and the need for approval from those they affect. She uses such examples as the vaccine Gardasil and needle exchange programs to examine ethical questions of government health programs.

Sandra Hwang '13, a biology and society major, wrote about emerging research to combat the obesity epidemic. In her article she argues that the problem must be understood through economics, and she cites studies that indicate that financial incentives can promote healthful behaviors.

Chikaodili Okaneme '11, a biology and society and science and technology studies major, will present an article on biopiracy, which is the commercial development of natural biological materials, such as exotic plants or genetic cell lines, without fair compensation to the people or nations in whose territory the materials were discovered. She examines the issue of developing countries that are being exploited for their natural resources, particularly by biotechnology companies.

Jennifer Sun '13, a science of natural and environmental systems major, wrote about the problem of electronic waste, which is the fastest-growing sector of municipal solid waste in the United States. Sun argues that there may be legislative solutions to promote sustainable recycling in the United States and abroad.

AAAS is a sponsor of The Triple Helix, which was founded at Cornell in 2004 as a semiannual student journal. Today, it is a nonprofit corporation with more than 800 members at 27 universities worldwide. This will be the fourth straight year that student writers will present at AAAS.

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Blaine Friedlander