14 year old invents better, faster way of diagnosing pancreatic cancer

14 year old, Jack Andraka - Cancer researcher

Known as the ‘cancer paper boy’, 14 year old Jack Andraka discovered a new way of diagnosing pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer has one of the most deadly prognoses. Over 85% of pancreatic cancers are diagnosed when a patient has less than a 2% of survival. The method that is commonly used to diagnosis is 16 years.

Jack’s breakthrough was a result of a biology class when he was learning about carbon nanotubes and an antibody that attaches itself to a particular protein. He was sure that was the solution to pancreatic cancer diagnosis.

But he had to get a lab to test his hypothesis. He got 199 rejections from the applications he sent to labs just to test his theory. The 200th application gave Jack hope by offering space in their lab.

After months of research and tests, Jack came up with a test strip for pancreatic cancer that is 168 times faster, 26,000 times less expensive and 400 times more sensitive to diagnose pancreatic cancer.

Jack is now a recognized scientists and cancer researcher. He is the recipient of the 2012 Gordon E. Moore Award, the grand prize of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Lesson: Never give up on what you strongly believe in.

Source: GE/Focus Forward

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