A teenager in Maryland made a remarkable discovery that will save lives and greatly reduce the cost of testing for pancreatic
Jack Andraka certainly does not qualify as an everyday teenager. His science fair project led to a new test for pancreatic cancer. The current test costs $800 and still misses 30 percent of cancer diagnosis. The new test costs only three cents and takes only five minutes.
“It is 168 times faster, over 2600 times less expensive, and over 400 times more extensive that our current standard of detection,” Andraka said.
The 15-year-old has given a TED talk and met President Barrack Obama as a result of his discovery. Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer in the United States. It as claimed several celebrities including Patrick Swayze and Steve Jobs. More than 75 percent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer die within a year because the disease is usually not detected until the latest stages.
Andraka won a $75,000 prize for his discovery, which he plans to put towards his college education.
In other news, a teenage inventor in London helped to create an app that summarizes news stories. He named it Summly and sold it to Yahoo for $30 million. The app had few download and less profit. Yet, 17-year-old Nick D’Aloisio earned millions for his “invention,” even though he outsources much of the programming.
Saving lives with a cancer test or making a summary producing app? The incentives seem off given the potential impact of each product.