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NASA Names Asteroid Belt After Saudi Student

After winning championship at the 2015 Intel ISEF global competition, the world’s largest international pre-college science competition,  Abdul Jabbar Abdul Razzak Al-Hamood was honored by NASA, who named a recently discovered main-belt asteroid after him! The asteroid, ‘Alhamood 31926′, was discovered on April 5, 2000, by the Lincoln Laboratory Near-Earth Asteroid Research Team in New Mexico.
Among more than 1,700 students from over 70 countries worldwide, 18-year-old Al-Hamood from Qatif in the Eastern Province of Dhahran, won the rare accolade for the best scientific research in the world at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF-2015) in Pittsburgh, USA. He is the first Saudi student to achieve this position in the global competition!
Al-Hamood conducted a botany related experiment using the TRV virus in genetic engineering, and his project was applied to 450 typical plants and more than 50 tomato plants. In an interview with Sky News Arabia, Al-Hamoud explained: “My project uses an anti-virus against harmful and toxic chemicals and enzymes that result from genetic engineering. It allows plants to safely grow in countries with difficult climates, whether it be in very dry areas, such as a desert, or very cold areas.”
This great honor for Al-Hamood, the smallest of five siblings, was also recognized and announced by Saudi Arabia’s  Ministry of Education (MoE).
“Abdul Jabbar Al-Hamood received a unique honor in that NASA decided to name a new planet discovered by its research team at the Lincoln Labs in New Mexico as ‘Hamood’ to acknowledge his rare success in scientific research by winning first place in the global Intel ISEF program on the new scientific revolution in the field of bio-botany,” the MoE said in a tweet.
He was also granted a special award qualifying him to attend the Nobel Prize ceremony in Sweden.
Al-Hamood is proud to represent his country up in space, and this honor hasn’t gone unnoticed!
Don’t forget to leave a smile 🙂 !
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Israa Elkhatib

I was born in Palestine but raised with the fireflies in Georgia. My teenage years were spent being the Muslim nerd who was known as the bookworm of the school. That followed me back to Palestine, to develop into being the girl with the big vocabulary. I spent most of my high-school days cursing Newton for not eating that apple. My English Literature Bachelor's degree was only obtained because I'm a nerd for literature and my minor in Translation pretty much pays the bills, thank you Birzeit University.Creative writing is my passion and reading is my escape from reality into a world where everything is the way you imagine it to be.

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