Com­puter pro­gramme to pre­vent dan­ger­ous re­ac­tion to medicines de­vised by 12-year-old girl

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A12-year-old girl from Knoxville Tennessee has de­vised a com­puter pro­gramme which could help doc­tors pre­vent a dan­ger­ous re­ac­tion to medicines.

Sofia To­mov is one of the fi­nal­ists in the 2016 Dis­cov­ery Ed­u­ca­tion 3M Young Sci­en­tist Chal­lenge, a pres­ti­gious sci­ence com­pe­ti­tion for mid­dle school stu­dents. Her pro­gramme, or to be more pre­cise al­go­rithm, would be used by doc­tors as they screen pa­tients as part of their rou­tine med­i­cal care.

Its pur­pose would be to iden­tify any ge­netic mu­ta­tions which could trig­ger a dan­ger­ous or pos­si­bly fa­tal re­ac­tion to pre­scribed drugs.

Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est fig­ures ad­verse re­ac­tion to drugs is the fourth most com­mon cause of death in the United States.

Sofia, whose am­bi­tion is to get a doc­tor­ate in com­puter sci­ence and start her own com­pany, ad­mits that there is more work to be done be­fore her ini­tia­tive can be im­ple­mented.

“So far [sci­en­tists] have not found a fea­si­ble so­lu­tion be­cause the al­go­rithms are tak­ing too long to run on a six bil­lion base­long genome,” she ex­plains on A Mighty

Girl’s Face­book page. “For pa­tients in emer­gency sit­u­a­tions such as a heart at­tack or a seizure, this is a huge health risk.” This is not even Sofia’s first in­ven­tion. She has al­ready filed a pro­vi­sional patent for a de­vice to pre­vent dis­posed drugs en­ter­ing the wa­ter sup­ply.

Sofia To­mov.

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