SAN DIEGO — A San Diego girl recently received an award for her work as a scientist. Kara Fan is just 14 years old and last week she was named the winner of 3M’s Young Scientist Challenge.
Kara formulated a “nano particle” liquid bandage to be used in place of antibiotics and help reduce the development of super bugs due to the overuse of antibiotics.
"There’s so many new things you can discover and change the world,” said Kara who hopes her work does just that.
The Westview High School student returned home to San Diego after competing in the 3M Young Scientist challenge in St. Paul, Minnesota.
There she presented her work to a live audience citing research that estimates there will be 10 million deaths per year due to antibiotic resistant infections by the year 2050.
Because of that global concern, Kara developed a liquid bandage using nanosilver technology to reduce the risk of superbug infections caused by antibiotic overuse.
"You spray the liquid bandage onto your wound – it'll create a thin film over the wounded area to protect it after it dries,” Kara said.
She wowed the judges and took home the top prize. Kara received a $25,000 check and got to ring the closing bell on Wall Street.
"It was really cool,” she said. “I met a lot of important people there.”
Kara's research was done in her own lab inside her home.
"I have all the bacteria here,” she said. “I test it on the Petri film and Petri plates.”
Kara hopes her work will make a difference.
"I think maybe this could be a product sometime in the future because I think it will help people,” she said.
According to the page on 3M’s website highlighting the young scientist, Kara hopes to become a microbiologist. She said she plan to use the $25,000 for college as well as other science experiments. The next project she has planned will explore the use of nanosilver in surgery.