New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge

Are babies safe from WNV?

Team: 37

School: Edgewood Mid

Area of Science: Microbiology

Interim: Team Number: 37
School Name: Edgewood Middle School
Area of Science: Microbiology
Project Title: Are babies safe from WNV?

Problem Definition:
West Nile Virus is a very serious disease, and we know that, but what we don’t really know is whether or not babies can become infected with WNV, while in the uterus, if their mother has it. At this point only one case has been suspect to have been passed from mother to child. Our group will be using technology to predict death rate of babies when the virus mutates and can pass the placental barrier.

Our goal is to use StarLogo, a computer modeling program. Our group will develop a working computer model of the increase of death rates once the virus has mutated.

Problem Solution:
We will make a computer model of the placental barrier to simulate the virus mutation inside the human. When we do this, we will have graphs that can be made inside the program telling us what has happened to the virus and how fast it will be mutating. It will also be telling us what the death rate would be for the babies. If we can’t decide if it is natural cause or the virus we would have to look for traces of the virus in the baby.

Progress to Date:
We have currently come up with a plan, but no modeling has been completed. We have done a lot of research, and we have found out that there have been more than one case where the mother has had west nile virus and the baby had a lot heath problems. The doctors are not actually sure if the health problems were caused by the virus.

Expected Results:
We expect that the death rate would be high since the babies immune system would not be as strong as an adult. We also predict that if the babies survive with the west nile virus they will have very bad health problems for the rest of their lives.

Team Members:
Chase Podzemny, Pete Talamante, Emily Robinson, Keith Stevens

Sponsoring Teacher:
Janice Portillo

Team Members:

  Pete Talamante
  Chase Podzemny
  Sarah Robinson
  Keith Stevens

Sponsoring Teacher: Janice Portillo

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