Cancer, Innovation and a Boy Named Jack

2.17.13 Jack Andraka

Jack Andraka is 15 years old. After a family friend that he considered to be an uncle died of pancreatic cancer, Jack set out to make a simple, inexpensive sensor to detect pancreatic cancer because too many people were dying. Jack recognized that mesothelin is a key marker for certain cancers.  To create his test, Jack mixed human mesothelin-specific antibodies with carbon nanotubes and coated  strips of ordinary filter paper. What resulted was a simple “dip-stick” tool similar to what a patient with diabetes might use to measure blood sugar. To read his interview about innovative efforts, click here.

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