The 2011 National Sciences Expo took place this year during the 40th anniversary of the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT), the International Year of Chemistry and the 18th National Week of Science and Technology.
At the event, a research project titled "Citogenotoxicidad and Teratogenicity in mice drinking Boost," students Stephanie Allende, Raul Jimenez and Elian Vega under the guidance of Dr. Saul Flores, from UVM Campus Lago de Guadalupe, obtained 2nd place in Mexico in the area of Biology (1st in the State). Through their projects young students offer solutions to real problems, both those of a given country or region and those highlighted by the event. Roberto Hidalgo Rivas, President of MILSET, said that the Sciences Expo is an opportunity to present research projects and disseminate viable intervention to improve the quality of life and environmental conditions locally and regionally.
The UVM students were trying to determine if there were any genetic or mutagenic changes caused by consuming energy drinks, like Boost. Dr. Flores said the project stems from concerns that the excessive promotion of this drink can lead to health issues especially cardio vascular. He said there are certain genetic markers in the cells that show certain cancer promoters. According to Dr. Flores, "These energy drinks are promoted a lot in the clubs and are also combined with alcohol. The purpose of this research is to show youth that excessive consumption of this drink can bring some change at the genetic and cellular level, we know that these drinks do not cause teratogenic changes, ie at the embryonic cell level, but we don't know if it causes genetic alterations that could lead to cancer."
The students and Dr. Flores will represent Mexico in International Environment & Sustainability Olympiad which will be held in June 2012 in Holland.