Monday, 8 July 2013

Inventor of the Day: Not your average 15 year old

Among the many great benefits of living in society is the enormous boon we all enjoy in a free society from the Division of Labour: the multiplication of knowledge in a division-of-labour society; the benefits from genius; the ability to specialise; the productive machinery and the economies of learning and motion that emerge from that specialisation—all part of what economist George Reisman describes as “the general gain from the existence of others.”

The benefits from genius is a rarely celebrated aspect of the division of labour in a free society—in which we can all benefit from the genius of creators, inventors and other entrepreneurs if and only if the barriers to their entry into the marketplace are minimal, and the marketplace is worldwide.

It’s impossible to prescribe where geniuses will appear. Genius can appear anywhere—even in a 15-year boy who discovers a method whereby pancreatic cancer can be diagnosed around 20,00o times more cheaply and around 168 times more quickly than the standard method easily—saving time, saving money, saving lives. 

Pancreatic cancer 's high death rate is partly blamed on the difficulty of early detection. Teenage scientist Jack Andraka has come up with a cheap and simple way to test for it.
   
Pancreatic cancer is a killer – and one that is very hard to detect. One of the reasons its survival rate is so poor that it has few symptoms in the early stages.
   
Partly spurred by the death of his uncle, 16-year-old scientist and researcher Jack Andraka vowed to find a quick and cheap way to test for signs of the disease.
   
Andraka's research – incuding writing to 200 science professors – led to him developing  a dipstick diagnostic test which searches for a biomarker for pancreatic cancer. It can also be used to test for lung and ovarian cancer.
   
He tells BBC Future about his quest.

Here’s Jack a year later.

1 comment:

  1. The kid will go on to invent more things (domain of bio-medicine) in the future. I bet the most kid are busy wasting their time posting inane messages on twitter/facebook while this brilliant kid uses the internet to further his education, especially at that high level?

    PS : Does any reader here know the title of the lovely piece of music that's being played at the background in the beginning of the interview? I'm keen to transcribed that song so I can play it. I've heard it before, but I need to know its title, which I can check the net to see if its musical score sheet is already available, otherwise, I'll just lookup the song title (if I know its title) on youtube and try to transcribe that tune into score.

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