Previous winners

2015 winners

The 2015 Molecular Frontiers Inquiry Prize winners were announced at the Molecular Frontiers Symposium & Forum LIVE! on May 8th 2015, at Chalmers University of Technology 

 

Girls:

Why do humans often make irrational choices despite our high level of intelligence?

Luo Dan, 13, Singapore

Would it be possible for the humans to become immortal in the future?

Elin Israelsson, 16, Sweden

How is time represented by our brain, and how is it interpreted?

Emily Wang, 13, United States

How does one know that the colours they see are the same as the colours that others see?

Jenny Simmons, 15, Canada

Are we born with an inherent need for social division?

Xinyi Teoh, 16, Singapore

 

Boys:

Can we suppress and reverse thermal as well as extreme pH denaturation of enzyme by binding of nanoparticles to allosteric sites of enzyme?

Zheng Xin Yong, 17, Malaysia

Is it possible to insert chloroplasts into human cells and genetically modify them such that photosynthesis can occur in humans and other animals?

Anlai Zhou, 15, Singapore

What is the difference between learning something new and having an original idea? What are the activities/processes in the brain when each of the above occurs?

Haaris Alam, 9, United States

Is there a limit to how many memories a person can have?

Kiho Kwon, 15, United States

Why is it hard to think of absolutely nothing?

Foo Yan Rong, 15, Singapore

 

2014 winners

The 2014 Molecular Frontiers Inquiry Prize winners were announced at the Molecular Frontiers Symposium & Forum LIVE! on May 20th 2014, at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm.


 

Girls:

Why does life need water? What else that creatures can use instead of water? 

Min-Kyung Lee, 11, South Korea

Is it possible to create our own chlorophyll to filter pollution, create energy and solve global warming? 

Chew Tian Wei, 16, Singapore 

Why do human cells not regenerate to repair the body like a lizard's tail?

Shermaine Si Ying Ying, 16, Singapore

What is the maximum memory capacity and limitations of human brain?

Leong Pui Yee, 17, Malaysia

Why can't we access all 100% capacity in our brain?

Katie Kerl, 12, USA

 

Boys:

What is life?  If all living and non living matter is constructed of atoms, and atoms are non living, where does life come from? 

Matthew Chew, 15, Singapore

Various DNA structures (such as a triple helix) are used by life, can a genetic code be made of silicon? 

Jun Soo Kim, 16, S. Korea

Outer space is deemed cold and devoid of matter. How can “nothingness” have the ability to be cold?

Arjun Chandrasekar, 15, Singapore

Distribution of energy in response to an expanding universe: does new energy appear to fill in gaps or does the total gets spread so thin that “holes” may appear? 

Ryan Prasad, 17, Malaysia

Why is it difficult to find blue fruits compared to blue flowers?

Jaesol Ahn, 16, S. Korea

2013 winners

The 2013 Molecular Frontiers Inquiry Prize winners were announced at the Molecular Frontiers Symposium & Forum LIVE! on May 28th 2013, at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm.

 


Girls:

 

What makes some people more inquisitive than others?

Faith Choo, Girl, 15, Singapore

Why does music have the ability to convey emotions to humans?

Yuan Li, Girl, 15, Singapore

What makes a person develop empathy and how come some people don’t have it?

Rachel Rochecharlie, Girl, 13 United States

How come no other molecules are as important for living creatures and Earth as the water molecule?

Timea Vitos, Girl, 17, Sweden

Why does our body protect us from extraordinary pain, like the victims 
of the 2013 Boston marathon bombing experienced, but not from chronic pain such as extreme back pain and migraines

Lauren Simenson, Girl, 17, United States

Boys:

Is the creation of artificial, self-conscious brains possible?

Siew Rui-Xian, Boy 16, Malaysia

How can a non-living chemical compounds generate self-replicating complex life forms?

Abhi Parikh, Boy 16, Singapore

Can diseases be diagnosed by sniffing?

Yong Zheng Xin, Boy 15, Malaysia

Are there phenomena, such as black holes or wave function collapse which destroy information about their prior states?

Perek Keng, Boy ,13, Malaysia

Why do some people have a clear sense of morality, of what’s right and wrong but some people don’t?

Tan Chuin Wei, Boy 15, Malaysia

 

2012 winners

The 2012 Molecular Frontiers Inquiry Prize winners were announced at the Molecular Frontiers Symposium & Forum LIVE! on May 29th 2012, at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm.
 

Girls:

Why do short naps leave you feeling more refreshed than longer naps?

Nancy Le, Girl, 13, USA

Why is the color blue so scarce in the natural ecosystems and what accounts for that?

Martyna Petrulyte, Girl, 17, Lithuania

Even though we can forget something, sometimes it pops back into our head. Is there a way to have no probability to recall a certain memory?

Lee Keum Young, Girl, 16 South Korea

Why are there more right-handed people than left-handed people in the world?

Sin Ein Yap, Girl, 17, Malaysia


Why should the properties of a compound vary from those of its constituent elements?

Priya Nathan, Girl, 13, India

Boys:

Why are our teeth made of calcium compounds which are weaker than metal or diamonds?

Jeong Hyun Nam, Boy 17, South Korea

How can we define the human soul?

George Agavanakis, Boy 16, Greece

When I’m hurt or ill, only I can feel the pain. Is it possible to make the doctor feel the same and make the correct diagnosis based on this?

Gabriel Tunsater, Boy 12, Sweden

Since it is a universal law that energy can be neither created nor destroyed, how did the energy in the universe come into existence?

Kaustubh Agrawal, Boy ,17, India

If everything happens because of molecular interactions, do we have free will?

Toomas Liiv, Boy 15, Sweden

2011 winners

The 2011 Molecular Frontiers Inquiry Prize winners were announced at the Molecular Frontiers Symposium & Forum LIVE! on May 24th 2011, at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm.
 

Girls:

Are self-awareness and consciousness the results of various physical processes or brain states or are they disconnected from our material bodies?

Elizabeth Naameh, Girl, 16, USA

What elements are imagination and thoughts made of?

Raeann Heng,Girl, 15, Singapore

How is intelligence acquired or inherited?

Donna Kwon, Girl, 15, USA

Does the brain have a limit to the information it can memorize?

Augustina Petrulyte, Girl, 17, Lithuania

Why is it that older memories are sometimes easier to recall than more recent ones?

Faazilah Mohamed, Girl, 13, USA

Boys:

What is the origin of self-sacrifice? (it seems to contradict the instinct of self-preservation)

Sergei Khegai, Boy 15, Russia

Why do most living organisms sleep?

George Agoranos, Boy 17, Greece

What are dreams made of and why is that than when you wake up you don’t remember what you dreamt?

Žilvinas Graužys, Boy 12, Lithuania

Does a thought have a specific biochemical signature?For instance, does a question-shaped thought have a specific type of molecular signature?

Shivaramakrishna Srinivasan, Boy ,11, India

Why is symmetry such a common and pervasive feature in Nature?

Srihari Chandrasekhar, Boy 10, United Kingdom

2010 winners
The 2010 Molecular Frontiers Inquiry Prize winners were announced at the Molecular Frontiers Symposium & Forum LIVE! on June 4th 2010, at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm.

 

The winners were announced by Dr Andreas Mershin, director of the Molecular Frontiers Inquiry Prize

Congratulations!
Winners receive the Molecular Frontiers Inquiry Prize Medal, a certificate and an Apple iPod Touch!

 


SUBMIT a question for the 2012 Prize!

 

Girls

Justina Saladyte,17, Lithuania:
"How are thoughts produced and what are they made of?"

Eva Vojácková, 17, Czech Republic:
"Why isn't life based only on RNA?"

Silvia Hnátová, 16 Slovakia:
"What  is the molecular origin of intuition?"

Ginte Petrulionyte,12, Lithuania:
"How can we imagine something that we have never seen or felt?"

Catarina Correia,15, Portugal:
"How is it possible for a simple cell to grow into a complex organism with many kinds of differentiated cells?"


Boys

Armin Mohammadi, 15, Canada:
“Does a cell control its atoms or is it the interaction of the atoms that control the cell?”

Iraklis Gkritsis, 16, Greece:
“Why do living organisms get old?”

Jan Pulmann, 16, Slovakia:
“How do we represent numbers in our mind and how do we count with them?”

George Utsin, 12, Canada:
“Why is it that when you pour sugar onto strawberries, they release their juice?”

Edward Godfrey, 16, United Kingdom:
“How does the brain know which neurotransmitters map to which sensations, if it has never seen that sensation before?”

Winners: 2009 Molecular Frontiers Inquiry Prize winner Felicia Ullstad, 17, receives the medal from Nobel Prize winner and Molecular Frontiers member Roderick MacKinnonWinners: 2009 Molecular Frontiers Inquiry Prize winner Felicia Ullstad, 17, receives the medal from Nobel Prize winner and Molecular Frontiers member Roderick MacKinnon

 

2009 winners
The 2009 Molecular Frontiers Inquiry Prize winners were selected by judges from the Molecular Frontiers Scientific Advisory Board on 4th June 2009 at the Royal Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden.

Vladmir Leopards: Winner of the 2008 Molecular Frontiers Inquiry PrizeVladmir Leopards: Winner of the 2008 Molecular Frontiers Inquiry Prize

 

The winners were announced by Vladimir Leopards, winner of last year's Molecular Frontiers Inquiry Prize, who was invited to participate in the Molecular Frontiers Symposium this year.

Congratulations!
Winners receive the Molecular Frontiers Inquiry Prize Medal, a certificate and an Apple iPod Touch!

 

See Questions followup

SUBMIT a question for the 2012 Prize!

 

Girls

Chloe Lim, 15, Singapore:
“Where does conscience come from?"

Felicia Ullstad, 17, Sweden:
“What is the origin of chemical chirality?”

Katerina Donta, 16, Greece:
"Some animals can reproduce an amputated part of their body, why can’t we?”

Rei-En Tang, 15, Singapore:
“How does our imagination work?”

Tove Lagström, 17,Sweden:
“What are the properties of water that make it the keystone of life?”



Boys

Alec Wilkens, 16, USA:
“How are memories stored?”

Daniel Tong, 15, Brazil:
“What are the molecular differences between living and non-living things?”

Fabian Fernandez-Han, 11, USA:
“Why does listening to cats purr make you feel calm and relaxed??”

Homan Mohammadi,17, Canada:
“What makes a cell alive if it is simply a collection of inanimate atoms?”

Max Wallack, 13, USA:
“Why does water expand when it freezes?”

 

2008 winners
The very first Molecular Frontiers Inquiry Prize winners were selected by judges from the Molecular Frontiers Scientific Advisory Board on 29th May 2008 at the Royal Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden.


Congratulations!
Winners receive the Molecular Frontiers Inquiry Prize Medal, a certificate and an Apple iPod Touch!

Read about the Molecular Frontiers Symposium and Forum LIVE!, where the Prize winners were announced!

 

See what scientists have found out about the winning questions since 2008 in Questions followup

 

SUBMIT a question for the 2012 Prize!

  Girls
Brittany Wakefield, 15, USA:
“How are shells made?"

Ang Qi Yan, 16, Singapore:
“What is between protons and neutrons in the nucleus?”

Kelsey Kecherson, 15, USA:
"How do we do things?”

Ava Violich, 11, USA:
“When did molecules come into being?”

Katie Osborn, 14, USA:
“What are emotions?”



Boys

Oliver Gocher, 12, UK:
“If elephants have huge brains, why are they not the most intelligent?”

Vladimir Leopards, 15, USA:
“Why aren’t plants black?”

Adam Patrick, 13, UK:
“Why do tea leaves gather in the center when a cup of tea is stirred?”

Adeeb Nazeerudin, 17, Switzerland:
“What is the origin of our thinking – if the brain controls nearly all of our body, what makes the brain control itself?”

Jacob Bildfell, 15, Canada:
“What is the nature of all matter?”