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A Girl Wins the 3M Young Scientist Challenge for Finding a Possible COVID Cure

The Covid-19 pandemic is still part of our daily lives. We occasionally hear about the success of scientists in the battle against the virus. But who would have thought that a 14-year-old girl would find a possible COVID cure? Today we would like to tell you about the winner of the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge.

14-year-old Anika Chebrolu from Frisco, Texas took part in this year’s challenge. Thanks to her mentor’s advice, the girl changed the theme of her project and made an important discovery.

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This 14-year-old won $25,000 for a discovery that could lead to a treatment for COVID-19. ⁣ ⁣ Anika Chebrolu of Frisco, TX, won the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge. She used in-silico methodology to find a molecule that can selectively bind to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.⁣ ⁣ "Even with the current therapies that are available, current projections show over 2 million deaths worldwide by 2021. There's a compelling need for the rapid development of safe and effective antivirals to combat this pandemic and its aftermath," Anika says.⁣ ⁣ #AnikaChebrolu #Texas #Scientist #YoungScientist #Molecule #COVID #COVID19 #Coronavirus #Therapy #Pandemic #Virus #Antiviral #COVIDTreatment #USA #Genius ⁣

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The 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge

The challenge was about solving everyday problems. At first, Anika was looking for a remedy for influenza: using a computer screening of molecules, she tried to find one that would prevent the flu from infecting people. But when COVID-19 struck, Chebrolu changed the project to target the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

As a result, she discovered that a lead molecule can bind to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The young scientist won $25K. She says that it was nice to win, but there is still a lot of work to do. Chebrolu will soon begin collaborating with adult scientists who will try to make the discovery more effective.

“After spending a lot of time studying pandemics, viruses, and pharmacology, the realization that I was experiencing something like this was just insane.”

At the moment, any coronavirus treatment is rather experimental. Many countries use different drugs for this purpose, but most latest studies only shorten the list of effective ones.

The anti-coronavirus drug discovered by Anika Chebrolu still needs to be improved. However, the results of this project is a big step forward. And it is quite surprising that a 14-year-old girl made such an important discovery, isn’t it?

Lisa

Like many people nowadays, I love to explore new places. My favorite type is slow travelling, when you can really blend in with locals and learn about new cultures and languages. But I think there are also perfect times for enjoying freshly baked pastry, a cup of fragrant coffee, and a good movie in the comfort of your own home. I guess I'm kind of a cultural omnivore, and I watch different types of movies, but the ones about art and food inspire me the most!

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