Dublin teenager wins BT Young Scientist after discovering blackberry antibiotic

Dublin teenager wins BT Young Scientist after discovering blackberry antibiotic

The BT Young Scientist award has been won by 15-year old-student Simon Meehan after discovering a blackberry antibiotic in his backyard.

He took home the top prize in the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) at the RDS in Dublin, after discovering antimicrobial properties of plants in his area.

People are going deep into the Amazon rainforest looking for new antibiotics. But I’m a 15-year-old boy who found this down his own back garden. That has got to be amazing,” he told The Irish Times.

“I feel, without disrespecting the scientific community too much, that there should be some conclusions from this. We are over-thinking science in too many ways.”

Meehan set out to find if there were any natural remedies in his area that were able to kill the common bacteria strain Staphylococcus aureus, which has become very resistant to antibiotics recently.

The young scientist tested nine different plants, including asparagus, nettle, and blackberries to see if they contained any compounds that could fight bacteria.

The unexpected findings deliver a unique approach to killing bacteria using natural plant active ingredients,” said chair of the event’s biological and ecological sciences category Professor John O’Halloran.

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only. 

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1. “Cork Teenager Wins BT Young Scientist after Discovering Blackberry Antibiotic in His Back Garden.” TheJournal.ie, http://www.thejournal.ie/bt-young-scientist-winner-3795563-Jan2018/.

2. “Blackberry Antibiotic Lands Cork Student Top BT Young Scientist Prize.” The Irish Times, The Irish Times, 12 Jan. 2018, http://www.irishtimes.com/news/science/blackberry-antibiotic-lands-cork-student-top-bt-young-scientist-prize-1.3353348.
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