A 14-year-old Texas student has been able to identify a molecule that can bind to the COVID-19 virus and potentially make it incompatible. Thanks to this discovery, he won the national science competition.
This student, Anika Chebrolu, decided to use computer modeling to find a compound that would firmly bind SARS-CoV-2 proteins – the structure that binds to human cells. Theoretically, a similar molecule would protect human cells from infection.
“Because of the prevalence of COVID-19 and its severity, I decided to change my method of fighting the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” Anika said in an interview.
Chebrolum received $ 25,000 to win this year’s competition. However, coming to this victory was not really easy: to get the young scientist to the discovery of this molecule, he started analyzing a database of 698 million compounds.
In addition to researching the coronavirus, Chabrolum also conducted research on the flu virus, which was, in fact, his original goal.
“I wanted to find a flu virus drug, which is why I selected one of the 3 million potentially suitable compounds,” said Chebrolu. “My research to stop SARS-CoV-2 is certainly very small, but I hope it It will help scientists. “