The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

A Teen With An Internet Connection vs Cancer

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The Dish


At age 13, after losing a family friend to pancreatic cancer, Jack Andraka set out to discover why the available tests couldn’t detect the disease earlier and at a lower cost. Amazingly, he stumbled upon a way to do just that – he estimates his method is 168 times faster, 26,000 times cheaper and over 400 times more sensitive than the tests available at the time. He tells his story in the above TED talk. In a companion interview, Andraka provides context:

I was really shocked by the fact that we didn’t have any way to detect pancreatic cancer. I mean, with a lot of diseases you have one test that can detect it. Like with breast cancer you have the mammography, or with HIV/AIDS you have that screening test. But with pancreatic cancer you have to have this really invasive biopsy or you have to go through…

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Author: Daniela

I was born in Croatia, at that time Yugoslavia. My family moved to the US when I was very young, but I still treasure the memories of my grandfather teaching me how to protect myself against the "evil eye," my grandmother shopping early every morning, at the open air market, to buy the freshest vegetables for the day's meals, and the traditions that were the underpinnings of our society. Someone once noted that "For all of us that want to move forward, there are a very few that want to keep the old methods of production, traditions and crafts alive." I am a fellow traveler with those who value the old traditions and folk wisdom. I believe the knowledge they possess can contribute significantly to our efforts to build a more sustainable world; one that values the individual over the corporation, conservation over growth and happiness over wealth.

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