Autophagy, the science behind fasting and a self-cleaning mechanism, may not only help in staying healthy but also in curing / Fighting cancer, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s and such neurological or biological diseases.
Inspired by this, 15-year-old Samay Godika, a student of National Public School, Koramangala, is all set to put Bengaluru on the global map. A simple creative video on the topic has placed Samay in the top 30 of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, sponsored by the founders of Facebook, Google and the Khan Academy.
The competition, which began on September 1, requires students aged 13 to 18 to research, create and submit original videos on complex topics in the fields of life sciences, physics or mathematics. Samay qualified for the semifinals as one of the top 30 out of 6,000 participants across the globe.
Samay said, “A few of my relatives have been suffering from neurological diseases, so I began researching on solutions to these problems. I was intrigued by the topic and the capability of a simple fast to cure life-altering diseases.” Samay also got the chance to meet Yoshinori Ohsumi, who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2016 for his work on cellular autophagy, and discuss the topic in detail.
In his video, Samay explains this biological process through a combination of humorous animated stories and informative scientific explanations. “Damaged organelles and cells can be decayed to create energy which can help fight diseases,” he says. The Breakthrough Challenge looks for four main areas that the videos should cover: engagement, creativity, illumination and difficulty.
“I just want to spread my thoughts. If I win this challenge, I will be able to create something extraordinary for the world. Getting this far is really cool. But I do hope I win,” he added.
The winner of the challenge will be awarded $250,000 while $100,000 will go to the school Samay represents for building a science lab. “I want to pursue my higher studies in neurosciences. This scholarship will help me join the most prestigious institution in the world,” Samay added.
You can vote for Samay at https://www.facebook.com/BreakthroughPrize/videos/1908262625865751/