worms.jpgWhat does a Stuyvesant High grad who won the Siemens Competition prize for outstanding high school science project do these days? Study worms of course. Yin Li won the $100,000 scholarship in 2003 for his study of how certain proteins in the brain "might control the capacity of nerve cells to undergo local protein synthesis". Such a mechanism might be related to memory and learning.

According to the Daily News Li is now a junior at Harvard. His research is looking at molecules that may control the movement of worms. Li is debating whether or not to continue his research in graduate school or become a physician. His solution is to do both with a dual doctorate. Awesome!

The finals for this year's Siemens Competition are happening this weekend at NYU. Local competitors include Catherine Wen, a student at Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens, Jinju Yi of John F. Kennedy High School in Plainview, and Vijay Jain of Herricks High in New Hyde Park. Gothamist isn't sure the public can attend but the student presentations are being webcast live today. Winners will be announced tomorrow morning. Good luck contestants!

Sketch of worm castings from Charles Darwin's final book "The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Worms with Observations of Their Habits".