Quinuclidine molecule model.

10 Year old Girl Creates new Molecule

Quinuclidine molecule model.
Terrence Aym's image for:
"10 Year old Girl Creates new Molecule"
Caption: Quinuclidine molecule model.
Image by: YassineMrabet
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Scientific breakthroughs seem to be coming faster and from younger people. The latest advance to rock the world of science—molecular research to be exact—comes from Clara Lazen a 10-year-old student at the Border Star Montessori School in Kansas City.

Lazen, after being shown the function of snap together molecular modeling, picked up some modeling pieces representing various atoms and created a model of a completely new molecule that some experts predict could lead to the creation of new batteries, pharmaceutical drugs, material science technology or even—as Lazen mused—explosives.

As the famous futurist Sir Arthur C. Clarke once advised, "Never trust a scientist over 30." There seems to be little danger of violating Sir Clarke's warning as the new generation of scientists is becoming younger and younger.

Just several months ago teen-age genius Angela Zhang, a 17-year-old Cupertino, California high school student designed incredible nanoparticles to zero-in on cancer stem cells and eradicate the disease at the source. Amazed medical researchers claim she may have revealed the pathway for the ultimate cancer cure.

After Lazen snapped together the over-sized atomic puzzle pieces, she proudly showed it off to her teacher, Ken Boehr, who gaped at it with unabashed astonishment. During his years of study he'd never seen anything like the model she whipped up in a matter of seconds.

The stunned teacher contacted Humboldt State University's Dr. Robert Zoellner a professor of chemistry. Zoellner, intrigued, took time to run extensive computer analysis of Lazen's remarkable molecule and pronounced the girl's masterpiece as a workable synthetic molecule that never existed until the middle school student created it.

Not only is the molecule new, but Zoellner believes its properties can store energy in new ways.

Thrilled, Lazen thinks the molecule might have huge applications, perhaps even for the military. If the military buys it, it could mean big money, she laughed.

She has vowed to split any money she makes from her invention with her teacher.

Asked by Fox4 News in Kansas City how she accomplished her incredible achievement, Lazen explained: "I just saw that these go together more. Like, they fit more together and they look better. And all the holes have to be filled in for it to be stable."

Meanwhile, Lazen's creation has caused a stir in the scientific community and Zoellner has published a paper ["A computational study of novel nitratoxycarbon, nitritocarbonyl, and nitrate compounds and their potential as high energy materials"] on the molecule in the January edition of Computational and Theoretical Chemistry.

Humbolt State University issued a statement in part asserting: "If a synthetic chemist succeeded at creating the molecule—dubbed tetranitratoxycarbon for short—it could store energy, create a large explosion, or do something in between…"

More about this author: Terrence Aym

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