<span style=”font-size: 14px;”>Jack Andraka is a fifteen year old who has potentially come up with one of the most ground breaking awesome innovations that could make many cancers history. His quest to find better ways of detecting pancreatic cancer much earlier led him on an extraordinary journey of discovery. Fuelled by a real desire to find out why he had to lose a very close friend, he determined to find ways to prevent others from losing the precious people in their lives as he had done. </span>I think that his age could mislead some people to assume that he can’t possibly be right and perhaps dismiss him and his discoveries. The reality is though that unless the person conveying their ideas has some compelling proof that they really know what they are doing, then many people will always be guilty of not taking them seriously. I think that we need to cultivate a much more open minded approach to how true innovation can happen and who might drive it.
It is insiprational to see someone who with dogged persistence, succeeded in achieving his goals despite the odds, despite rejections, despite having to relentlessly do test after test after test after test and <span style=”font-size: 14px;”>despite more senior and experienced professionals not having thought of it before</span>
A singular focus wihtout distraction.
A lesson for us all.
<h3>Jack Andraka’s profile on TED</h3>
<div style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;”><strong>Why you should listen to him</strong></div>
<p style=”margin: 0px; padding: 7px 0px 5px; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; float: none; width: 516px; font-size: 1.2em; color: #545454;”><span style=”font-size: medium;”><em>After Andraka’s proposal to build and test his idea for a pancreatic cancer detector was rejected from 199 labs, the teen landed at Johns Hopkins. There, he built his device using inexpensive strips of filter paper, carbon nanotubes and antibodies sensitive to mesothelin, a protein found in high levels in people with pancreatic cancer. When dipped in blood or urine, the mesothelin adheres to these antibodies and is detectable by predictable changes in the nanotubes’ electrical conductivity.</em></span></p>
<p style=”margin: 0px; padding: 7px 0px 5px; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; float: none; width: 516px; font-size: 1.2em; color: #545454;”><span style=”font-size: medium;”><em>In preliminary tests, Andraka’s invention has shown 100 percent accuracy. It also finds cancers earlier than current methods, costs a mere 3 cents and earned the high schooler the 2012 Intel Science Fair grand prize.</em></span></p>
<blockquote style=”margin: 0px; padding: 20px 0px 0px; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 1.2em;”>”This kid is the Edison of our times. There are going to be a lot of light bulbs coming from him”</blockquote>
<cite style=”margin: 0px 0px 15px 36px; padding: 0px 0px 0px 14px; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; display: block; font-size: 1.2em;”>Dr. Anirban Maitra, Johns Hopkins University, The Baltimore Sun 5/24/2012</cite></blockquote>