Apparently, finding an inexpensive test that successfully tests for Pancreatic cancer wasn?t enough, young Jack Andraka, has now embarked on a journey to compete for Qualcomm?s Tricorder X-Prize worth $10 million. This contest is designed to create a device that is capable of discovering and diagnosing fifteen different commonly found diseases in a single device.
Jack Andraka has teamed up with two other Intel Science Fair finalists to create a team called Generation Z. Andraka believes that his team can make a device that can diagnose even more diseases, although an actual number is difficult to pinpoint. After all, Andraka?s pancreatic cancer test is 400 times more sensitive, 168 times faster and 26,000 times less expensive than a traditional pancreatic cancer test. In preliminary tests, Andraka?s invention has shown 100 percent accuracy. It also finds cancers earlier than current methods, costs a mere $3. So, if there?s a person capable of accomplishing something like this it very much could be him.
In addition to the announcement of their wunderkind team, Jack Andraka also gave a TED talk yesterday that detailed his paper about carbon nanotubes. This was a biology lecture on antibodies and a flash of insight that led, then 15-year-old Jack Andraka to design a cheaper, more sensitive cancer detector.
The team itself has actually been working together since this past summer and will be working feverishly until the X-Prize?s deadline in 2015. The team members all reside in different places and are proud that they aren?t getting any help from any adults. They not only take pride in the fact that they?re working on their own, but they also consider it more fun. Jack says that because of the information age, they?re able to collaborate with each other without having to be in the same place. These kids are really making the best use of the information age and our connected lives.
Needless to say, there?s going to be a lot of things on this guy?s plate and he probably won?t have much time for school. As the future of education evolves, it appears that more kids will find themselves doing most of their classes online, like Jack. We wish Jack and the rest of his team the best of luck on their endeavor in competing for the Qualcomm Tricorder X-Prize and we hope that they are able to develop even more inexpensive diagnostic tests as a byproduct.