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Four pupils from the Isle of Man have received the Society of Biology Prize at the UK’s prestigious National Science and Engineering Competition.

Emma Howard, Annabell Jose, Grace Harrop & Millie Barrow were awarded the prize after showcasing their work to a world-class panel of judges. They used microbial-cellulose produced by yeast and bacteria, grown in bathtubs of sweet green tea, to make environmentally friendly clothes.

The result was announced at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair in Birmingham. At the Fair, Society of Biology staff and volunteers welcomed schools and families to their stand to take part in genetics activities.

At the Fair, the shortlisted entries were showcased to over 60,000 visitors, and participants went face-to-face with top celebrity judges in a Dragons’ Den style pitch process.

Dr Mark Downs, chief executive of the Society of Biology, sends his congratulations to Millie, Grace, Annabell and Emma. He says:

“The biosciences have enormous contributions to make towards tackling many environmental challenges, and the winners have come up with a very creative way to make more sustainable clothes. The project was extremely impressive and we wish them the best of luck in their future studies.”

The judging panel included Dallas Campbell, the presenter of BBC’s Supersized Earth and Bang Goes the Theory, Sir Tim Hunt, Nobel Prize Winner (2001), and Helen Sharman, the first British astronaut.