A teenage girl in Texas is getting national recognition for her work on a potential treatment for COVID-1
9 … and she’s already getting paid.
Anika Chebrolu, a 14-year-old freshman at Independence High School in Frisco, is hailed as the nation’s best young scientist … and she won $ 25,000 for her potential breakthrough in coronavirus.
Anika won the 3M Young Scientist Challenge for her hard work in identifying a potential drug for the treatment of COVID-19. The brilliant student says that while she was in 8th grade, she developed a molecule that binds to a protein on the SARS-CoV-2 virus and essentially stops the virus from working. A brilliant discovery for an adult, much less a child.
This part will blow your mind unless you are a scientist – Anika says she started with a database of over 682 million connections and used a few computer programs to figure out how and where the molecule would bind to the virus.
Anika was still in middle school when she participated in the competition and originally planned her scientific project around finding ways to fight seasonal flu. But like many professional researchers, she turned around when the pandemic hit.
She says she drew inspiration from stories of people suffering from COVID-19 … and she also credits her grandfather, a chemistry professor, for guiding her toward science.