After winning the $100,000 Siemens Prize for inventing nanoparticles that kill cancer cells, Angela Zhang is quickly becoming the world's most enviable Internet meme. Not because of the money, though, but because she's only 17-years-old. Obviously, the Internet is blown away by all of this.
The research itself sounds pretty amazing, regardless of Zhang's age. The Cupertino, California girl -- who also happened to be the only female finalist in the contest -- describes her discovery as a "Swiss Army knife of cancer treatments." The Associated Press explained the nanoparticle treatment when the prize was announced earlier this week:
Zhang said the particle she designed improves on current cancer treatments because it delivers a drug directly to tumor cells and doesn't affect healthy cells around it. The particle is also able to release a drug when activated by a laser. The idea is still years away from being used in patients, however. Zhang says it could take 25 years between clinical trials and other steps before her research is helping patients.
By Friday, the web was lighting up with meme-tastic tributes. While some play on stereotypes, others are just terrific. Zhang now shares a tag page on Tumblr with a famous Asian actress, and dozens are giving the victorious image of Zhang holding the giant Siemens check over her head the LOLcats-like photo treatment. The meme is appropriately called "Unimpressed Angela Zhang."
In case you were wondering, the other Siemens winners are pretty smart too, but they're not memes. Somehow, the kid who won for hacking his Xbox Kinect seems less impressive to the Internet.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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