Save thousands of lives: a young immigrant from Ukraine creates a unique DNA robot in the USA
Sofia Lysenko's parents emigrated from Lviv to the USA when the girl was 3,5 of the year. Sophia is now 17 years old, and she is in talks with the largest pharmaceutical companies in the US about cooperation Voice of America.
The girl created an artificial macromolecule robot that can deliver drugs to the brain cells of patients with Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s. Sofia's invention won the prestigious scientific competition Google Science Fair at the regional level.
On the subject: Five features of American schools that will surprise immigrants
Now she is studying at a school in Pennsylvania. Sofia is fond of science since childhood. Back in primary school, she began to think about solving the greatest problems of mankind.
Two years ago, a schoolgirl was fascinated by the idea of finding ways to deliver drugs to diseased parts of the brain, bypassing all the barriers in the human body.
“The problem is that there is a protective layer around the brain, it is very important, it protects the brain from viruses, but when we try to deliver drugs to the brain, often this barrier does not let them through,” says Sofia.
Therefore, Sofia, using the knowledge of biology, computer programming, chemistry, coding, physics and mathematics, came up with a robot capsule, the size of a DNA, which can overcome this barrier. The schoolgirl presented this invention at the Google Science Fair and won at the regional level.
The robot it has invented, once inside the human body, will be able to perform computer calculations and programming and will know where it needs to go.
“A DNA robot makes it possible to use calculations, it’s like a small computer that will go over a barrier and decide for itself where it should go and which cells it should open,” says Sofia.
To verify the effectiveness of the decision schoolgirl conducted hundreds of computer experiments. The greatest difficulty in the work, she said, was the lack of necessary equipment and scientific support.
The girl sent out requests with the request of mentoring to dozens of professors in the United States and outside the country. She also turned to her schoolteacher for advice.
“We do not have the necessary funds and equipment at school for the experiments that Sofia is trying to carry out. She had to call and communicate with people and look for something similar to what she needed, but she never felt depressed. I just talked about problems and we were looking for solutions, ”says physics teacher William Anderson.
Sophia managed to find a mentor professor in Boston, and the school gave her a place to do research, since such projects improve the image of the school at the national level.
“When we have someone as talented as Sofia, it is very important that we have the resources to ensure that her talent develops. When Barack Obama attended this school, he was just talking about the importance of good public education so that our public schools can help schoolchildren make the American Dream come true, ”said school district director Jeffrey Fecher.
The school pays attention to the fact that children from migrant families are encouraged by the idea of the American dream. The high school director says she admires Sofia's parents, who spare no time or money to provide her education.
“We met with her parents. They are great. They invest a lot in their daughter's education. She participates in both the chess club and the orchestra. She uses every educational club that is there. I think this is an important part of the immigrant experience. Regardless of their socio-economic status, they strive to achieve the American Dream, ”says school principal Angelo Berios.
The young inventor has not yet decided what future awaits her. Options include a teaching career or working with the giants of the pharmaceutical industry.
“When I presented this project at the Google Science Fair, I met with representatives of many companies. My project has been recognized by pharmaceutical companies that are working on almost the same problems, ”she says.
Sofia is also interested in new technologies. She does not exclude the possibility of creating your own high-tech company. And Ilona Mask calls her idol.
“He was able to take his ideas outside of conventional scientific research. He pushed them in the right direction and influenced changes in the world. I hope to do the same, ”says the girl.
Sofia is convinced that if she lived in Ukraine, she would also be engaged in science. The only thing she lacked was the ability to communicate and consult with professors from around the world.
She also joined the research team that develops artificial intelligence. Together with other young scientists, they compose an algorithm for a program that can recognize cerebral palsy in babies on the basis of movements, facial expressions and gestures.
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