Teen Googles his way to new cancer testing method
His work was impressive enough to earn the Maryland high school student a total of $100,500 in grants and prizes at the 2012 Intel Science Fair.
Even more impressive is the source he credits for much of his success: Google.
"I definitely could not have done this research and project without the use of the internet", Andraka told BBC News in an interview published this week.
"I basically went to Google and was looking up cancer statistics, also looking at a bunch of different documents on like, single walled carbon nanotubes and pancreatic cancer biology," he told the BBC.
Andraka was able to find enough information using search engines and free online science papers to invent his procedure, which is now being hailed as "revolutionary" by the American Cancer Society and science publications around the world.
The test uses a method similar to that of a diabetic testing strip, with a dipstick sensor that can test either blood or urine for the presence of mesothelin in the body -- a chemical known to be a biomarker for early-stage pancreatic cancer.
As Forbes reports, this method could also affect how other types of cancer are diagnosed and treated in the future.
Andraka has filed for a patent for his work with the help of lawyers from Johns Hopkins University, where he conducted his tests for the project.
Pathology professor Dr. Anirban Maitra was the only doctor out of 200 that Andraka had contacted to give the eager young student lab access at Johns Hopkins to conduct his science fair project.
"You're going to read about him a lot in the years to come," Dr. Maitra told the Baltimore Sun in May. "What I tell my lab is, 'Think of Thomas Edison and the light bulb.' This kid is the Edison of our times. There are going to be a lot of light bulbs coming from him."
What's the most impressive thing you've learned online? Let us know in the comment section.
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