A 14-year-old American girl was awarded $ 25,000 (£ 19,300) in prize money for developing a treatment that may have the potential to treat Covid-19. Seriously, this is an incredibly impressive science from someone so young.
Anika Chebrolu from Frisco won the 3M Young Scientist Challenge for her work on a molecule that could completely impair the effectiveness of the virus that has nearly brought the world to a standstill this year.
If it works, it could theoretically revolutionize attitudes towards the virus that killed more than a million people worldwide.
Speaking to local media company KTVT, the teenage genius said, “It’s exciting. I’m still trying to process everything.
“I developed this molecule that can bind to a certain protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. By binding to it, the function of the protein is stopped. ”
When most of us were 14 years old, we played video games and tried to be served in the local off license.
In the pre-pandemic era, the amazingly intelligent school girl had tried to come up with a drug that could help fight the seasonal flu – another big fight – but when the coronavirus hit, she decided to use her sizable intellect on the challenge at hand to judge.
Using computer technology, she identified exactly where the molecule would have to bind to the virus and what effects this would have.
Behind all of this amazing work was the inspiration she received from her grandfather, as well as the devastating effect the virus had on the whole world.
She explained, “My grandpa, when I was younger, always drove me towards science. He was actually a chemistry professor and he always told me I was studying the periodic table of the elements and I was learning all these things about science. and over time i just loved it. ”
Well, he can be very proud now, that’s for sure.
The 3M Young Scientist Challenge is a competition organized by the Discovery Channel and the multinational science and technology conglomerate 3M for middle school students in the United States.
In addition to the money, Chebrolu received the title of “America’s Best Young Scientist”.
Denise Rutherford, 3M senior vice president of corporate affairs, said, “Amid the challenges of a global pandemic, high quality STEM education has become an even more pressing need for everyone, and 3M’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of science leaders remained never that big. ”more determined.
“Despite challenges such as adapting to new distance learning norms and participating in virtual events, this year’s 3M Young Scientist Challenge finalists have overcome barriers with grit, creativity, innovative thinking and excitement – all in the name of improving the application of science to life.
“3M is inspired by these young innovators and we celebrate each and every one of them. We congratulate this year’s winner Anika Chebrolu from the bottom of our hearts and thank all finalists of the 3M Young Scientist Challenge. ”
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