13:50 PM

Hey, Ohio State News readers – you really made these researchers’ day!

Earlier this week, the Ohio State News team presented the second annual “Coolest Science Story” award to Xiaoying Zhao, a postdoctoral researcher in the university’s Department of Food Science and Technology. Zhao and her team developed an Earth-friendly plastic replacement, a biodegradable material that could potentially be used to reduce waste in food packaging.

And you were the ones that awarded the team this trophy, by voting in December in the Coolest Science Story contest. More than 12,000 votes were cast; Zhao and her team, which included Yael Vodovotz, a professor of food science and technology, and Katrina Cornish, a professor of horticulture and crop science, won with 4,584 votes.

Jan Weisenberger, senior associate vice president for research, also presented Zhao $500 for winning the contest, on behalf of the university’s Office of Research, led by Senior Vice President Morley Stone.

The original study about the potential plastic replacement was published in the journal Polymers. Ohio State News featured it in an April 9 story by Misti Crane.

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