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The cure for the coronavirus could be closer than we think. And no, I'm not talking about a timeline, I'm talking about Frisco, just outside of Dallas. A 14 year old eighth grader has won this year's 3M Young Scientist Challenge for discovering a treatment that could help Covid-19 patients. Watch her video submission above.

Anika Chebrolu won $25,000 for her use of  “in-silico methodology for drug discovery to find a molecule that can selectively bind to the Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 virus in an attempt to find a cure for the COVID-19 pandemic.” If you are trying to figure out what that means, basically she discovered a molecule that can attach itself to the virus. With that ability, scientists can then target the virus directly in order to kill it. At 14 years old, I was still playing outside in the big dirt pile behind my shed.

So why did Anika decided to take part in this year's competition? She says she battled a bad case of the flu last year and wanted to find a cure. As the she was working on the flu, the pandemic hit with the coronavirus and Covid-19.

Along with being one of the 10 finalists and winning $25,000, she is also awarded a mentorship with 3M Corporate scientist Dr. Mahfuza Ali. While you might not know Dr. Ali by name, if you have ever used masking tape or painter's tape, you know her work. According to the 3M website, Dr. Ali "is a Corporate scientist in 3M’s Materials Resource Division. She invented and developed a novel Quaternary Ammonium Materials Technology Platform that has generated several highly successful commercialized products for 3M, including antistatic polarizer films used for laptops and TVs, ink-receptive films used for printing durable, brighter images and antimicrobial coatings."


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