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14-year-old Texas girl makes discovery that could help fight COVID-19

As scientists around the world are trying to find a cure for COVID-19, the 14-year-old may have made a breakthrough discovery. Details told the publication CNN.

Screenshot: YouTube / CBSDFW

Anika Cebrolu, a 14-year-old girl from Frisco, Texas, won the 3 2020M Young Scientist Challenge and a $ 25 prize for a discovery that could provide potential COVID-000 therapy.

Anika's invention uses an in-silico technique to detect a molecule that can selectively bind to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

“The last two days there has been a lot of hype around my project as it is related to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and reflects our collective hopes for an end to this pandemic, as I, like everyone else, wish us to get back to normal as soon as possible.” , - said Anika.

Anika, an Indian American, presented her project when she was in 8th grade, but she hasn't always focused on finding a cure for COVID-19.

Its original goal was to use in-silico methods to determine the lead compound that could bind to the influenza virus protein.

“Given the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and the dramatic impact it has had on the world in such a short time, I, under the guidance of my mentor, changed the direction of targeting the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” Anika said.

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Anika began looking for potential cures for viruses after learning about the 1918 influenza pandemic and finding out how many people die despite the annual flu vaccinations and medicines available on the market.

“Anika has an inquisitive mind,” said Dr. Cindy Moss, judge at the 3M Young Scientist Challenge. - Her work was comprehensive, she researched numerous databases. Her willingness to use her time and talent to help make the world a better place gives us hope. ”

According to Anika, it is a great honor to receive the award and the title of the best young scientist, but her work has not yet been completed.

Her next goal is to work with scientists who are trying to establish "control of morbidity and mortality" from the pandemic, turning its results into a real cure for the virus.

“My efforts to find a leading compound to bind to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus may seem like a drop in the bucket, but still complement all efforts,” she said. "How I develop this molecule with the help of virologists and drug development specialists will determine the success of these efforts."

Anika is an ordinary 14-year-old girl. In addition to doing laboratory research, she also attends an Indian classical dance called Bharatanatyam.

Miscellaneous In the U.S. coronavirus Special Projects scientific discovery

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