Jack Andraka a 15 year old boy from Crownsville, Maryland invented a new method, a cancer test that can detect a lethal pancreatic cancer. A friend of Jack died of pancreatic cancer.
He came to conclusion that the problem was a lack of early detection tests and the cancer test that he invented is able to detect this desease in its earliest stage. Unfortunately, the Pancreatic Cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths (34,000 taken lives so far) due to the fact that the cancer is not detected in time. Other factors are also the 60 years old and expensive ($ 800) testing methods and they miss 30% of all pancreatic cancers.
The cancer test Jack developed is: 168 times faster, 26,000 times less expensive and 400 times more sensitive than the current standard of detection. The test is 100 % accurate costs 3 cents and takes only 5 minutes to take. The test for detection of pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancer was developed using data from Google and Wikipedia – online resources available almost to everyone who has an internet connection.
Jack requested space for work from research labs nearly 200 times but 200 times he was turned down. Finally, with assistance from “Johns Hopkins” he got the research facilities that he needed. Did it sting when Andraka would get rejections? “It definitely did sting,” he said, ’cause I knew that a lot of them were being a bit discriminatory because they were thinking ‘This is a 15-year-old and he can’t possibly be doing this.” This may explain the overwhelming emotion he felt when he won last year’s Intel International Science Fair and validation came with $100,000 in scholarships, but Jack Andraka’s got his eye on even bigger things.
“The new competition is called the Tricorder XPRIZE, it is a $10 million prize and essentially the task is to develop something the size of a smartphone that you scan over your skin and it will diagnose any disease instantly.” Jack is gathering a team of high-school colleagues to compete against 300 teams of scientists and corporations in this competition. He says youth is an advantage and more likely to solve old problems.
Jack Andraka’s science project doesn’t sound like a high school achievement. It sounds more like a Nobel Prize winner.
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