Skye enjoys reading, writing, and climbing trees. She'd like to pursue a career as a science journalist. "I think I'd have the most fun in a career writing articles about new discoveries in science journals or newspapers," says Skye.
When Skye heard about Christopher Reeve's struggles with nerve injury and success in regaining some movement, she became interested in learning what factors might help someone recover from paralysis. Last year, she performed a science fair study showing that exposing nerve cells to a solution of potassium chloride helped them stay alive longer than a solution of nerve growth factor, which is often the standard solution for keeping neurons alive in labs. For this year's project, Skye hypothesized that a solution of both potassium chloride and nerve growth factor would keep nerve cells alive longer than either compound alone.
Skye grew nerve cells in petri dishes with a potassium chloride solution, a nerve growth factor solution, or a solution containing both additives. She discovered that potassium chloride and nerve growth factor work synergistically to keep nerve cells alive longer than either compound by itself.