A 14-year-old Texas girl won $25,000 for developing a potential SARS-CoV-2 virus treatment. Anika Chebrolu, from Frisco, US used in-silico methodology and discovered a molecule that can bind to spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 and hamper its functioning. The young scientist was honoured with a cash prize for winning 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge in a virtual address.
While the youngster was initially working to create a treatment for flu, she steered her research post-COVID-19 in the US. The school girl told sources of KTVT that she developed a molecular treatment which, after binding with a certain protein on the SARS-CoV-2 virus, develops immunity against COVID-19. The eighth-grader said that she would accredit her research to her grandfather for igniting flair for science and wants to relieve the suffering of those severely impacted with the disease. Chebrolu’s grand dad was a chemistry professor and had implanted love for chemistry in the young child by pushing her to understand the periodic table of the elements when she was younger.
“The mission of the Young Scientist Lab is to foster a new generation of scientists who are inspired to improve the world with science,” the US lab wrote in the update on site, explaining the focus of the 3M Young Scientist Award. The portal shortlisted 10 finalists and 27 State Merit Winners in the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge in the nation’s premier middle school science competition. Four girls and six boys withing the age group of 12-14 made it on the final list, of which, Chebrolu was declared a winner. The participants had to submit one- to two-minute video communicating about their scientific innovation and solution to solve any of the world’s problems. Chebrolu is pursuing middle school at Nelson Middle School in Frisco and started research with over 682 million compounds database.