The newest COVID-19 drug idea comes from a 14-year-old girl

A COVID-19 cure is vexing scientists around the globe, but the latest idea to beat it comes not from Big Pharma or top-tier university labs.

It originated in middle school.

Anika Chebrolu, 14, of Frisco, Texas, has won this year’s 3M Young Scientist Challenge for her work finding a molecule that can selectively bind to the virus’s spike protein, according to the contest organizers. The eight grader used in-silico methodology for drug discovery to do it.

Chebrolu gets a $25,000 prize now, but who knows what other prizes are coming her way if this helps uncover a new therapy for COVID-19.

While that’s a windfall for someone who can’t legally drive, it’s nothing to a major drug maker. For example, one estimate has Gilead making $9 billion on Remdesivir this year and next.

“I have always been amazed by science experiments since my childhood and I was drawn towards finding effective cures for Influenza disease after a severe bout of the infection last year,” she says, explaining why she entered the 13th annual 3M Young Scientist Challenge. “I would like to learn more from 3M scientists to pursue my drug development and with their help, would like to conduct in-vitro and in-vivo testing of my lead drug candidate.”

The aspiring medical researcher and professor attends Nelson Middle School.

Around the world, close to 40.5 million people have contracted COVID-19 and more than 1.1 million have died, according to Johns Hopkins University’s most recent data.

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Primary school bus driver in WA’s South West accused of blindfolding and raping 14-year-old girl

A primary school bus driver in Western Australia’s South West region has been charged with allegedly blindfolding a 14-year-old girl, driving her somewhere and sexually assaulting her twice.

The principal of a primary school in WA’s South West has told parents sex charges laid against a bus driver did not relate to his work.

Cleve Maynard Pain has appeared in Bunbury Magistrates Court charged with assaulting a 14-year-old girl.

It is alleged the 51-year-old met the teenager online via an instant messaging app and arranged to meet her in person.

He allegedly met her earlier this month and blindfolded her before driving her to a location where he sexually assaulted her.

Police say he blindfolded her again and drove her back to where he collected her.

He has been charged with two counts of sexual penetration of a child over 13 and under 16, one count of intent to expose a child to indecent material and one count of possessing child exploitation material.

Parents urged to contact police with any concerns

The WA Education Department has said the man drove a bus for one public primary school, not a high school.

The ABC understands the principal of the primary school has written to parents saying “It is understood the charges do not relate to his duties as a bus driver”.

The principal said, “I understand this news may be concerning to families and as such, when available, I will provide as much information as I am able to.

“If you have concerns about your child, you may wish to contact WA Police directly”.

A replacement driver was arranged so there would not be an impact on the service.

Police say their investigation is ongoing.

Cleve Maynard Pain is due to appear in court again on October 26.

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Body of missing 14-year-old boy William Wall found in Victoria’s Yarra Valley

Victoria Police has confirmed that the body of 14-year-old William Wall has been located at Yarra Junction, east of Melbourne.

A statement said William’s death was not being treated as suspicious and police would prepare a report for the coroner.

William Wall went missing yesterday morning after going for a walk.(Supplied: Victoria Police)

“Police would like to thank the media and all those involved in the search,” the statement said.

William, who had high-functioning autism, left his home at Launching Place about 6:45am on Tuesday for his regular walk on the Warburton Trail.

He told his family he would be back in 15 minutes.

Police launched an air and ground search with more than 100 police and support officers when William did not return.

Yarra Junction is about 2 kilometres east of Launching Place in the Yarra Valley.

Dozens of people, mostly local residents, showed up to search for William this morning.

However, police said they had enough resources for the job and asked the volunteers to spread the word on social media instead.

At a media conference this morning William’s father, Shane Wall, thanked everyone involved in the search.

“I’ve been in the Valley for a long time but this has just blown me away, the support from local people, the Facebook community, the noticeboards and all that,” Mr Wall said.

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Public appeal after 14-year-old Lake Macquarie boy fails to return home

Police have launched an appeal to the public to help find a teenager missing in NSW.

Chase Scorey, 14, was last seen leaving a home on Buller St in Charlestown in Lake Macquarie after 8.15am on Friday.

When he failed to return home police from the Lake Macquarie Police District were alerted and have since been working to try and find the missing teenager.

NSW Police said in a statement there are concerns for Chase’s welfare due to his age.

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He is described as caucasian, about 170cm tall with a thin build and brown hair. He was wearing a dark coloured hoodie with a thick grey stripe on the chest and arms, and blue dual toned board shorts.

He is believed to be wearing a grey helmet while riding a black mountain bike and carrying a grey and white backpack.

Anyone with information about Chase’s whereabouts is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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Former Arsenal star Tyrell Robinson pleads guilty to sex with 14-year-old

An English football player has confessed to having sex with a 14-year-old girl and sharing indecent images of a child on social media platform Snapchat.

Ex-Arsenal star Tyrell Robinson, 22, pleaded guilty to the sex offence before Bradford Crown Court in the north of England and was warned he could face jail time, The Sun reports.

The former Bradford City player admitted engaging in sexual activity with a child, making an indecent image of a child and distributing an indecent image of a child.

Robinson admitted engaging in sexual activity with the teenager in Bradford on August 13 of 2018.

He also entered a guilty plea to making and distributing an indecent image of a child via Snapchat on the same date.

However, he denied a further charge of distributing an indecent photograph of a child in December 2017, and the court heard the prosecution will not proceed with this count.

The winger was arrested in August 2018 and later sacked by Bradford for gross misconduct.

Robinson was granted bail until his sentencing and was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register before he left court.

Judge Jonathan Rose said: “Dealing with you Robinson, you pleaded guilty to all matters save the last count. The prosecution will not seek to try you on that count.

“Your case is now adjourned to be sentenced.”

He continued: “You must not assume that the fact that I’m adjourning sentence and granting you bail is to mean that any particular sentence will be imposed upon you.”

Robinson will be sentenced at a later date.

At the time of Robinson’s arrest, Bradford City Football Club said in a statement: “Bradford City Football Club has parted company with Tyrell Robinson.

“This comes after West Yorkshire Police confirmed charges had been brought against Robinson, following his arrest in August 2018.

“Robinson has been dismissed from the remainder of his contract on grounds of committing gross misconduct.”

Robinson will go on trial on April 12 next year.

He came through Arsenal’s academy as a youngster and moved to West Bromwich Albion, before joining Bradford on a free transfer in August 2017.

The footballer, who can play left-back or left-wing, was earmarked for big things under manager Michael Collins.

Robinson made 28 appearances for the club, including 13 league starts, with his final appearance in a 2-0 defeat in August 2018.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

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