Meet Xavier. Xavier invented SoleX Turf, a highly renewable, nontoxic alternative energy source to replace current energy solutions that use non-renewable, toxic components.
Why did you enter the Young Scientist Challenge?
Working with a 3M Mentor who is a scientist and field expert is my dream and also getting to meet other curious and creative kids who love science. Sometimes it is really lonely at school, so being able to meet and collaborate with other kids like me would be incredible.
What is your favorite invention of the last 100 years, and why?
The invention that has captured my imagination the most is Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, or CRISPR Cas-9. CRISPR is a family of DNA sequences that can be used to remove or repair DNA sequences. Cas 9 (CRISPR associated protein 9) is an enzyme that uses CRISPR sequences to help recognize and then cut specific strands of DNA that are corresponding to the CRISPR sequence. Cas9 enzymes combined with CRISPR sequences can efficiently edit DNA sequences within organisms, like a handy pair of molecular scissors. This can be used for the treatment of diseases where the mutated gene sequence that needs to be replaced or repaired is clearly defined, like beta-thalassemia, sickle cell disease, and some types of cancer and blindness. CRISPR-Cas9 is radical, it permanently changes how we do science! It opens a whole new world of possibilities for scientists and engineers to work together and create new technologies like the ability for yeast to generate chloroplasts and the harvesting of this solar energy through piezoelectric nanowires.
In 15 years I hope to be...
an astrophysicist and microbiologist living on Mars and developing sustainable and renewable energy sources.
You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf!