I’ve basically lost faith in adults. I’m closing in quickly on 30, and I really don’t like to identify with that particular demographic groups. So much pettiness and fighting; adulthood is the pits. But I’m constantly impressed and made hopeful whenever I read about utterly awesome kids and teens who are doing incredible things, especially in science. Many of those impressive youngsters are women and girls, and for women’s history month I thought it might be worthwhile to highlight a few of the kiddos who are contributing amazing things.
This 17-year-old has been developing oilier algae in her home lab (!) in order to make biofuels easier and cheaper to produce. The idea is to use guided evolution. Instead of fiddling with the algae genome or optimizing the environment, Volz just kills off the algae that are lackluster oil producers.
Clever. So clever, in fact, that she won the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search this year. The prize: $100,000 scholarship.
Shree Bose won the 2011 Google Science Fair with cancer treatment project. Not just any cancer treatment (as if that were a thing). A treatment for drug-resistant ovarian cancer. Women often develop resistance to cisplatin, a common drug used in ovarian cancer treatment. Bose explained her research in an interview with Teen Skepchick:
My research basically showed a huge difference in what a particular cell protein, AMP kinase, did in resistant cells versus sensitive cells, which suggests that this protein might be doing something in the cells to make them resistant. The research suggests that when a patient becomes resistant, she can be treated with a protein inhibitor and cisplatin, and chemotherapy can be improved. That conclusion is not only huge for future treatment but also for future research, and it was really exciting to work on.
Oh, is that all?
Get ready to feel incredibly inadequate. Nine-year-old Daisy Morris has discovered a dinosaur. Well, not a dinosaur. A pterosaur. Yes, the two are different. (But you have to admit, Daisy’s Dinosaur sounds better than Daisy’s Pterosaur.) Daisy has been hunting fossils with her mom when she was three. She didn’t have to search very long to start making her mark. The fossil in question – a new genus of pterosaur that lived in the Lower Cretaceous period – was found way back in the dark ages of 2009 when Daisy was the ripe old age of four.
Not only is this a pretty awesome find, but the fossil of this previously unknown to science reptile would likely have been lost forever if not for Daisy. The erosion on the coastline on which the fossil was found would have caused the fossil to be washed away.
These are only a few of the amazing discoveries made by teens and pre-teens around the world. Just think what we could do if we, you know, funded education. Perish the thought.
Image credit: VIUDeepBay