One of Thomas Edison’s great quotes is “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” Edison lived this statement daily in the process of creating the light bulb.
Thomas Edison made his own hand-blown glass bulbs, tried 3,000 different theories of creating an element that would lower the amount of electrical power required to power a light bulb, and tried more than 6,000 types of filament to extend the life of a light bulb for more than a few hours.
It was in 1880 when he created a 16-watt bulb that burned for 1500 hours. Not many of us have the kind of drive and determination to stick with something you know it will work, even though you experience failure after failure. Yet those are the individuals that carve a path to the future.
Jack Andraka is living this famous quote by Edison. Jack is a 15-year-old boy from Crownsville, Maryland. Jack watched a beloved family friend, who was like an uncle to him, die of pancreatic cancer. Rather than accept it as fact of life, he chose to become proactive.
He realized that a significant part of the problem was a lack of early detection tests. So he decided to come up with a test to detect cancer in its earliest stages. Pancreatic Cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death, taking 34,000 lives a year.
Unfortunately, this disease is usually detected late in its progression and has an extremely low survival rate after diagnosis. Current testing methods are 60 years old, cost on average $800, and miss 30% of all pancreatic cancers.
The test Jack developed is:
168 times faster
26,000 times less expensive
400 times more sensitive than the current standard of detection
He did his research using Google and Wikipedia as his primary research tools — online resources that are available to virtually anyone on the planet with an internet connection.
The cost for his test: Three cents
It takes five minutes and has a 100 percent accuracy rate. Compare that to the current standard, which employs 60-year-old technology, costs about $800, and misses 30 percent of all pancreatic cancers.