Kids these days are really raising the bar on their science and mathematical innovation skills. Recently we told you about an Oregon teen who used fractals to create a bandage that lets medical professionals know when it needs to be changed. Now we’ve learned that 12 year-old Sofia Tomov created an algorithm to help prevent adverse reactions to prescription drugs. I can’t even remember if I knew what an algorithm was when I was that age, but Sofia is not your typical tween. She’s a STEM powerhouse-in-training as well as a published author and an inventor! We’ll let Sofia herself explain her algorithm and ideas after the jump with her “Make the pill fit the ill” presentation.
Adverse reactions to prescription medication can range from mild to extremely severe. 2.74 million serious adverse reactions to prescriptions occur every year with hospitalizations and death as a result. Even when the drugs are properly prescribed, genetic variations can result in certain people reacting differently (and dangerously) to the same drug. With 6 billion base pairs of DNA per cell, there is a huge potential for genetic variation. Tomov, who is competing in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, aims to reduce the numbers of adverse reactions by creating a computer program that would help determine if a patient has certain mutations in his or her genome. The homeschooled Tennessee tween says that doctors can then use medical databases to compare the patient’s mutations with others to determine potential side effects associated with those specific mutations. With the help and encouragement of her teacher and computer scientist parents, Tomov and her algorithm will go to the semifinals of the science challenge in Minnesota with the long-term goal of having her algorithm become a routine part of hospital and medical data and analysis. As for her personal goals, Tomov will begin taking classes next year at the University of Tennessee and hopes to get a PhD in computer science.
via US News
Lead image © Beverly Tomov