As awards from institutions like this usually go to pharmaceutical, allopathic discoveries if there ever were one, in this case Simon Meehan was actually responsible for a naturopathic combatant to the antibiotic resistant infectious bacteria Staphylococcus aureus.
He pioneered a treatment derived from the natural chemicals found in blackberries.
They say bacteria that threaten human health such as slmonella, pneumonia, tuberculosis and more are becoming resistant to the typical antibiotics like amoxicillin. However, people familiar with naturopathy might choose a natural antibiotic such as oregano oil, and also save their vitally important gut bacteria from being massacred by an antibiotic that isn’t even effective.
As reported by the Irish Times, the boy discovered the naturopathic remedy through experimenting with 10 local plants he found in his area. He eventually discovered that blackberry extract is very antibiotic resistant.
He experimented with the chemicals in nettles and asparagus among others. Eventually he released that blackberries must contain some chemical capable of stopping the growth of bacteria.
“People are going deep into the Amazon rainforest looking for new antibiotics,” The Irish Timesquotes him. “But I’m a 15-year-old boy who found this down his own back garden. That has got to be amazing.”
In praise of the winning science project, a judge from the 54th BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, Professor John O’Halloran said: “The unexpected findings deliver a unique approach to killing bacteria using natural plant active ingredients,” and “The rigor of the approach adopted by Simon set his project apart from competitors and made him our overall winner.”
The boy gave respect to the work of his grandfather and cited it as inspiration for his own work. Eddie Lucey, his grandfather, is apparently a well known naturopath and science teacher according to the Irish Times.
Through herbs as simple as ones you could grow in your backyard, his 82 year old naturopath grandfather has inspired this grandson.
“He has inspired my work,” Meehan was quoted as saying. “I am indebted to him for my knowledge.”
That is quite a respectable attitude from such a young person! Hopefully this inspiration and passion will be preserved in this young mind, and the weight of the world will not crush his spirit.