A bright 14-year-old Indian-American from Guntur, Anika Chebrolu made headlines on Monday by developing a potential cure for COVID-19 which won her the 2020 3M young scientist challenge. She managed to develop a molecule that can bind to a certain protein of the coronavirus and prevent it from functioning.
Anika took home a $25,000 award for her research on protein spikes in the coronavirus. An MNC known as 3M declared her victory on the competition website www.youngscientistlab.com. She mentioned how excited she was for the achievement and is still trying to process the victory.
The Victorious Journey to Potential Cure for COVID-19
“Anika used in-silico methodology for drug discovery to find a molecule that can selectively bind to the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 virus to find a cure for Covid-19.” said the website on her achievement.
Anika didn’t always focus on the COVID-19, but her main hope was to find a cure for influenza. Much to her surprise, she ended up finding a potential cure for coronavirus. “After spending so much time researching about pandemics, viruses, and drug discovery, it was crazy to think that I was living through something like this,” she mentioned on the website.
Anika is an eighth-grade student from Texas and aspires to become a medical researcher and professor inspired by her grandfather’s interest in science. She said that she had always been lured by science experiments since childhood and had been inclined towards the discovery of cures for influenza after undergoing the infection in 2019.
Other Excellent Participants
Apart from Ankia, three other students from Telangana, Samhita Pokkunuri, Harsha Pillarisetti, and Samvrit Rao also made their mark in the contest.`
Samhita, another participant contested in the finals for designing and programming multiple robots who mimic swarm intelligence which can be used to complete complex tasks and also collect data and information on healthcare, agriculture, construction, security, and military operations.
On the other hand, 13-year-old Harsha successfully identified an alternative, for reducing indoor air pollution by using leaf-like structures. Samvrit Rao developed BOREAS, a low-cost telemedicine-based solution that can be used to capture breath sounds along with asymptomatic data to physicians.
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