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17-year-old Bengaluru girl wins Rs 3.31 crore prize at ‘Oscars of Science’ for video on cellular programming

Sia Godika, a 17-year-old from Bengaluru, won the 'Breakthrough Junior Challenge' with her video on "Yamanaka Factors," explaining Shinya Yamanaka's cellular reprogramming. Her victory earns her Rs 3.31 crore, including a scholarship, teacher award, and science lab. The competition promotes creative scientific communication among youth worldwide.

 17-year-old Bengaluru girl wins Rs 3.31 crore prize at 'Oscars of Science' for video on cellular programming vkp
First Published Feb 7, 2024, 12:14 PM IST

A 17-year-old girl from Bengaluru, Sia Godika, has emerged victorious in the prestigious 'Breakthrough Junior Challenge', securing a remarkable prize of Rs 3.31 crore. The Breakthrough Junior Challenge often hailed as the 'Oscars of Science', is an international science video competition founded by luminaries such as Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner and his wife Julia, and an American entrepreneur Anne Wojcicki.

Sia Godika clinched the coveted title with her outstanding video presentation titled "Yamanaka Factors". Her video, which delves into the groundbreaking discoveries of Nobel laureate Shinya Yamanaka on cellular reprogramming, has garnered widespread acclaim for its innovative approach and insightful content.

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The winning video features a compelling narrative where Sia, a student at Neev Academy, portrays an elderly woman undergoing a remarkable transformation, symbolizing the rejuvenating effects of Yamanaka's induced pluripotent stem cell technology. The video highlights the potential of this revolutionary technology in reversing the ageing process and treating age-related and degenerative diseases.

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Sia's exceptional achievement has earned her total prize money of Rs 3.31 crore, which includes a $250,000 college scholarship for her higher education, a $50,000 award for her science teacher Arka Moulik, and a $100,000 science lab designed by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

The Breakthrough Junior Challenge, which attracted over 2,400 participants from more than 100 countries this year, aims to foster creative thinking, communication skills, and a deeper understanding of fundamental scientific concepts among young minds. It serves as a platform for students to showcase their talent and passion for science while addressing real-world issues through innovative means.

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