WASHINGTON (CBS SF) — A Bay Area high school student won one of three top prizes and $150,000 at the Intel Science Talent Search in Washington Tuesday.

Seventeen-year-old Andrew Jin, a senior at The Harker School in San Jose, won a Medal of Distinction for Global Good for a method he developed that scans more than 100 adaptive mutations in DNA, including the genetic source of deadly diseases.

“Hepatitis, or influenza, or even HIV,” Jin said.

Forty high school seniors, including 11 from California, were chosen from among 1,844 applicants to compete in the annual Science Talent Search, considered the Nobel Prizes for the nation’s top high school students.

Jin wasn’t alone in representing the Bay Area, which is rapidly becoming one of the top regions for high school science education.

Saranesh Thanika Prembabu, 17, of San Ramon, won the $75,000 second place Medal of Distinction for Innovation award for a project on nanocrystal structures that will help improve the efficiency of electronic data storage.

Evan O’Dorne, who was home-schooled in Danville, won first place in 2011 becoming the first from California to win the top prize.

On Wednesday, the group met President Barack Obama at the White House.

 

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