The trouble with pancreatic cancer — best known for claiming tech icon Steve Jobs last year — is that it kills 19 out of 20 sufferers within five years. Why? Because it’s always been very difficult to detect until much too late.
Enter Jack Andraka, a 15 year-old from Crownsville, Maryland.
Jack has devised a simple dip-stick test that is 28 times faster, 28 times cheaper, and over 100 times more sensitive than current tests. Its efficacy could save millions of lives, and its potential has already earned Jack $75,000 in scholarship funding at the 2012 Intel Science Fair.
Not bad for a kid who still has his learner’s permit.
“What’s so cool about that is its applicability to other diseases… for example, other forms of cancer, tuberculosis, HIV, environmental contaminants like E. coli, salmonella,” said Jack. “All for [the cost of] three cents for a test that takes five minutes to run.”
Science is cool… and so are smart, creative teenagers who like to solve problems.
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