Skip to comments.15 Year Old Creates Test For Pancreatic Cancer (Wins Intel Science fair Grand Prize)
Posted on 05/24/2012 6:31:25 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most difficult cancers to diagnose, often times not detected until the most advanced stages. However, new advances in medical science have provided a way to find pancreatic cancer before it spreads.
New advances made by a 15-year-old Maryland high school student.
North County freshman Jack Andraka earned the grand prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for creating a test that can detect early stage pancreatic cancer with 90 percent accuracy and at a cheaper rate than other tests.
It detects an abnormal protein that you find in the blood when you have a pancreatic cancer, said Dr. Anirban Maitra, professor of Pathology, Oncology and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to CBS affiliate WJZ-13. He conceived this idea and I think the fact that he is 15 makes this whole story more remarkable.
An estimated 44, 000 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year; of those patients, 94 percent will die within five years of diagnosis and 74 percent will die within the first year. It is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States.
I got interested in early detection because thats the best chance of treating cancer, Andraka said. The only practical way of doing this is through routine blood tests so thats what Ive developed here.
Andraka won $100,000 in prize money, which he plans to put toward college.
(Excerpt) Read more at newsfeed.time.com ...
In Atlas Shrugged the national science accademy made a really moderatly effective metal polish...
Somehow this Clark Griswold scene immediately popped into my head when I read your post. ;-)
>>This would be a no-brainer.<<
Exactly. Obviously, any idiot can come up with a test for pancreatic cancer, I mean, DUH!
Oh come on. He is not being compared to “any idiot”, but to scientists and doctors in the same field. This is basic problem solving to these people. Not taking away from the young man’s success at all, but there are far more experienced professionals who have been working in this field for decades. Why has it eluded them?
“North County is not exactly a creme de la creme school, either...”
I can only rely on second-hand reports, but I've been told that North County's STEM magnet program is very good. It's one of two in Anne Arundel County, from what I can gather.
In fact, the Andrakas (the family of the young man featured in this article) purposely selected the North County STEM program for their sons (we know the family - our sons took piano lessons with their sons).
Magnet programs being select programs designed to draw motivated students of achievement (mostly white) into otherwise low performing, under-attended schools (usually heavy minority)
Fingers crossed - as my own DD will be starting in a Magnet program this fall. The Magnet kids are almost a small school within a school, with separate classes focused on their disciplines, plus summer and weekend required programs- my DD will have two extra hours of school, 4 days a week, compared to the general population
Yes, the school has what is reputed to be a good STEM program. Like I said, I have no first-hand knowledge at all.
However, I know the family (a little) and I've met and chatted with mom on any number of occasions. Their sons (the older one also won an Intel competition from the same high school, if I recall correctly) wouldn't be in this school if the program weren't phenomenally fantastic.
The mom is in the health care field, the dad's a professional, as well. They're pretty high-powered folks, really hard working folks, absolutely wonderful people, can afford what's needed to be afforded for their kids’ educations, and wouldn't hesitate to spend it, as necessary, and are really on top of getting a great education for their kids.
But therein lies the rub. No matter how good the school is, that's only a very small part of the equation. You'll notice that young Mr. Andraka had to solicit the assistance of some two hundred researchers before finding one who would assist him. I kinda doubt that it was the school helping him to identify and ask those folks. I kinda suspect that it was his mother's contacts within the field that came to the fore, there.
The point is, no matter how good the school is, these kids had something that the vast majority of kids don't have - parents who could help make this sort of thing happen.
No matter how good a school North County might be, I don't think it's the school that really did most of the work nurturing young Jack to win this prize.
Good luck with your child. Remember, though, parents are their children's first and primary teachers. All the "professionals" our children encounter over the years are merely there to assist us in doing our God-given vocation.