TV News show 60 Minutes just ran an article about 16-year old Jack Andraka, a high school student in Baltimore, MD who, at age 15, developed a test that might save countless lives by detecting early pancreatic cancer. Andraka’s journey began at 14, when a family friend died from the disease which affects thousands of lives every year. The Baltimore freshman was surprised there were no tests to find genetic markers for this type of cancer, and set out to gather data on the subject.
After reading many research papers and science magazines, Jack came up with a theory while in Science class (where he got in trouble for reading something other than the text book). After being rejected by 199 scientists that he approached to test his theory, one researcher at Johns Hopkins kept his mind open to the possibility that he was on to something.
The data collected offered up a certain clues in the body if pancreatic cancer is present. As Andraka was covered to CBS News in Baltimore:
Using the internet and experiments, he found a paper sensor can detect the presence of pancreatic cancer in blood early and inexpensively.
The discovery paid off, in more ways than one– the young man won the highest award at the Intel International Science Fair last year (the world’s largest pre-college science research competition.), and continues his research today.
As Andraka stated:
“Last year I created a novel paper sensor for the detection of pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancers. It’s a small strip of paper about the size of a diabetes test strip that I made by dipping the paper into a combination of single walled carbon nanotubes and antibodies. When a sample of blood containing the protein biomarker that is over expressed in these cancers is dropped onto the sensor the electrical resistance of the sensor changes and this can be detected using an inexpensive OHM meter from Home Depot.”
In this case, it was traditional research that got the ball rolling, but it took the perspective of a young scientist to see it through, unhindered by others’ pre-conceived notions. Andraka’s perseverance at such a young age is an inspiration to everyone in the science community, and to anyone trying to collect data in the 21st century. But it isn’t the technology that made this happen.
It was the idea behind it.
Mobile Data Collection for Healthcare is what iFormBuilder does, and hopefully speeds up tests, results, and cures for researchers across the world. We like to think we have a different way of thinking as well, that we are helping to make the ideas stand at the forefront, while the technology of gathering information stays seamless, and easy as possible.
And maybe we help your project, and let you focus on making the world a better place. Like Jack Andraka.
Knowledge is Gathered!