Teenagers making cancer discoveries = blowing my mind! - The Funny Thing About Cancer
 
In two national high school science competitions this year, the winners have made major discoveries related to cancer.

First there is Angela Zhang (age 17).  What did she do?  She created a nanoparticle.  This nanoparticle targets and destroys cancer cells. 

My mind is officially blown!

A 17 year old came up with a nanoparticle that might be the cure to cancer.  Obviously this has to be tested and whatnot and might just be another exciting treatment.  But still!  SHE CREATED A NANOPARTICLE!

When I was 17, I don't think I even knew there was such a thing as a nanoparticle.  Heck, I was lucky that I could place half the elements correctly on the periodic table.  My favorite part of chem class was the time we made ice cream using liquid nitrogen.  I'm obviously a science genius.

Anywho, I read this article today and I was just blown away that there are teenagers out there who are trying to cure cancer.  CURE CANCER! 

Then there is Jack Andraka, age 15, who created a test for pancreatic cancer that is cheaper, faster, and 100 times more sensitive than the current text on the market.  Oh, and it's 90% accurate. 

Again, my mind is blown. 

Testing for cancer is usually very invasive and takes a LONG TIME.  Just for my breast cancer, I first had to go see a doctor.  Then he ordered an ultrasound (because I couldn't get a mammogram due to my pregnancy).  So I had to wait about a week to go to that.  Most patients then have to wait to schedule a biopsy if there is something suspcious, but my ultrasound tech did it right away.  The biopsy involves sticking a HUGE needle into the lump and snipping off a piece.  Then you have to wait 4-6 days to get the results back from the lab.  It took me 10-14 days to go from finding my lump to getting my diagnosis and that was actually pretty fast.

Waiting that long to find out if you have cancer is insanely stressful and awful. 

So for a 15 year old kid to develop a test where you pee in a cup and find out a day or two later if you do/don't have pancreatic cancer... that's HUGE! 

I hope that they can develop similar tests for other internal cancers!

Bottom line is that when I read these articles about these kids doing cancer research, I was floored.  I was excited to see that our next generation of reserachers and doctors is ALREADY making discoveries.  It just takes my breath away.  It gives me hope that maybe we'll actually find a CURE for this beast... sooner than I ever thought possible.
6/1/2012 03:33:06 pm

This is incredible! I haven't read the linked articles yet, but if these are public school kids... my slight worries about the state of our education system will immediately be vanished!

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