Bored Panda works better on our iPhone app
Continue in app Continue in browser
BoredPanda Add Post

The Bored Panda iOS app is live! Fight boredom with iPhones and iPads here.

14-Year-Old Girl Wins $25K For Finding A Possible COVID Cure
180points
2.6K
People, Science1 year ago

14-Year-Old Girl Wins $25K For Finding A Possible COVID Cure

Authorities in 215 countries and territories have reported about 40.8 million Covid‑19 cases and 1.1 million deaths since China informed the World Health Organization (WHO) about its outbreak in December. And while scientists around the world are racing to find a treatment for the disease, one 14-year-old girl’s efforts stand out among them.

Anika Chebrolu, who is Indian American, submitted her project to the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge when she was in 8th grade. Initially, she tried to use in-silico methods to identify a lead compound that could bind to a protein of the influenza virus.

But “because of the immense severity of the Covid-19 pandemic and the drastic impact it had made on the world in such a short time”, Anika — with the help of my mentor — changed directions to target the SARS-CoV-2 virus. And it worked.

Anika Chebrolu from Frisco, Texas, has just won the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge — and $25,000

Image credits: CBSDFW

Her invention uses in-silico methodology to discover a lead molecule that can selectively bind to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus

Image credits: CBSDFW

You can watch her explain it in the video below

Image credits: CBSDFW

Anika said her journey’s really exciting and she’s trying to process it

Image credits: CBSDFW

“The last two days, I saw that there is a lot of media hype about my project since it involves the SARS-CoV-2 virus and it reflects our collective hopes to end this pandemic as I, like everyone else, wish that we go back to our normal lives soon,” Anika told CNN.

But she’s already being called America’s top young scientist

Image credits: CBSDFW

Anika said she got inspired to start searching for potential cures to viruses after learning about the 1918 flu pandemic and finding out how many people die every year in the US despite annual vaccinations and anti-influenza drugs on the market.

“Anika has an inquisitive mind and used her curiosity to ask questions about a vaccine for Covid-19,” Dr. Cindy Moss, a judge for the 3M Young Scientist Challenge, said. “Her work was comprehensive and examined numerous databases. She also developed an understanding of the innovation process and is a masterful communicator. Her willingness to use her time and talent to help make the world a better place gives us all hope.”

Image credits: 3M Young Scientist Challenge

The media is celebrating together with the 14-year-old

Image credits: Goodable

Image credits: 3M

Image credits: USAndIndia

And people really appreciate her work

Image credits: KennyRS

Image credits: AsIWas_Saying

Image credits: SOAlumniNetwork

Image credits: louietwostep

Image credits: AlyssaVenice

Image credits: GooseGrinder

Share on Facebook
Popular on Bored Panda
Start the discussion
Hans
Community Member
1 year ago

So many people talking...pro COVID measurements, contra COVID measurements. But some are really doing something. If you see a 14-year old advancing scientific research, those people who spread opinions without a factual base should realize it is time to shut up.

Electric Ed
Community Member
1 year ago

If you see a 14 year old advancing science this much, doesn't it mean the entire science field has been slacking off? Call me cynical, but if it truly is a cure for Covid, there would be no need to mention her age. At least more than once.

Load More Replies...
Monika Soffronow
Community Member
1 year ago

Bravo and congratulations! I too find the 25.000 a very small sum for what she accomplished, but that was the sum of the prize money. This was surely only the first acknowledgment of her brilliant scientific career.

LittleMissLotus
Community Member
1 year ago

This is amazing! But where did she find all the resources to do this?? My school district barely has enough funds for functioning microscopes, and there's no way my parents would be willing to fork over the money to buy all the lab equipment needed lol

Dynein
Community Member
1 year ago

"In-silico docking study" - means everything was done on the computer. The data of the molecular structures are freely available, and an overwhelming amount of programs to analyze these biological data is free, too. No funds needed except for a good computer. Of course, since the analysis was done on a computer, the question is if the molecule will truly work as intended - the programs are good but far from perfect, it is entirely possible that the molecule won't bind quite as intended. And even if it does, there's the possibility that the designed molecule interacts with other proteins as well and is therefore harmful for humans... It 's amazing that a 14-year old did such an analysis, kudos for that, but it's just one step in pharmaceutical research.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
Hans
Community Member
1 year ago

So many people talking...pro COVID measurements, contra COVID measurements. But some are really doing something. If you see a 14-year old advancing scientific research, those people who spread opinions without a factual base should realize it is time to shut up.

Electric Ed
Community Member
1 year ago

If you see a 14 year old advancing science this much, doesn't it mean the entire science field has been slacking off? Call me cynical, but if it truly is a cure for Covid, there would be no need to mention her age. At least more than once.

Load More Replies...
Monika Soffronow
Community Member
1 year ago

Bravo and congratulations! I too find the 25.000 a very small sum for what she accomplished, but that was the sum of the prize money. This was surely only the first acknowledgment of her brilliant scientific career.

LittleMissLotus
Community Member
1 year ago

This is amazing! But where did she find all the resources to do this?? My school district barely has enough funds for functioning microscopes, and there's no way my parents would be willing to fork over the money to buy all the lab equipment needed lol

Dynein
Community Member
1 year ago

"In-silico docking study" - means everything was done on the computer. The data of the molecular structures are freely available, and an overwhelming amount of programs to analyze these biological data is free, too. No funds needed except for a good computer. Of course, since the analysis was done on a computer, the question is if the molecule will truly work as intended - the programs are good but far from perfect, it is entirely possible that the molecule won't bind quite as intended. And even if it does, there's the possibility that the designed molecule interacts with other proteins as well and is therefore harmful for humans... It 's amazing that a 14-year old did such an analysis, kudos for that, but it's just one step in pharmaceutical research.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
Popular on Bored Panda
Popular on Bored Panda
User Submissions
Also on Bored Panda
Also on Bored Panda