Teenager and Google outshine Medical Science

Nieuws | de redactie
6 december 2012 | A new test to diagnose pancreatic cancer is 168 times faster and 400 times more accurate than the commonly used techniques. It was not developed by a prestigious institute but by a 15-year old high school student from Maryland. The key to his success? Open Access.

Jack Andraka, 15 years old, developed test to diagnose pancreatic cancer that excels in comparison to the 60-year-old diagnostic technique called enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Who does he credit for his success? Google.

On the Shoulders of Giants

“I basically went to Google and I was looking up cancer statistics. Also looking at a bunch of different documents on single-walled carbon nanotubes and pancreatic cancer biology. So what happened is I found this one article on here about carbon nanotubes and their use as biosensors.”, Jack Andraka said to the BBC. “The Internet is an invaluable resource cause you don’t have a college degree in biology or chemistry. You don’t really have any of those textbooks. So the Internet offers up that information. So without that, such scientific advances by young people getting interested in science would be near impossible.”

Like Newton said, and the tagline of Google Scholar: “I have stood on the shoulders of giants and that’s why I could see so far.” Open Access empowered  Andraka in finding his ground-breaking online research. Without Open Access Andraka would never have been able to access the articles on which he based his ideas, they would have been locked behind expensive journal subscriptions or pay-per-view fees.


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