At 14, she made a potential cure for COVID-19?!

Photo Credits : 3M Young Scientist Challenge

Anika Chebrolu, a young student from Texas, was declared the winner of the “3M Young Scientist Challenge” on Thursday after she discovered a molecule capable of binding to the virus that causes COVID-19. The information was published by the CNN portal.

The competition, which began in December last year, is intended for students in their fifth to eighth year, whose task was to find solutions to everyday problems. 

The greatest success was achieved by Anika’s discovery, which was also awarded, and the young girl won $ 25,000 for her idea, trip, and the title of “America’s Best Young Scientist“.

At the same time, she could easily run circled around the even experienced scientists with her idea. Her discovery significantly contributed to the development of the COVID-19 research. The molecule that Anika discovered can bind to the upper protein of the virus, preventing it from entering the host cell and causing infection. Thus, with such an assumption, the molecule can also be used to create a potential cure for the disease.

Anika worked on the scientific method “in-silico”, a method that uses computers to design millions of small molecules.  She originally planned to focus her project on the flu virus but changed it the moment the coronavirus hit and realized the seriousness of the pandemic.

When Anika submitted her project, she was only in the eighth grade. She told a CNN reporter that she hopes to work with other scientists and researchers to develop her discovery into the right cure for COVID-19.

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