“Fifteen-year-old Jack Andraka took home top science fair honours this year for the development of a cancer-testing method found to be 168 times faster, 26,000 times cheaper and 400 times more sensitive than the current gold-medal standard.
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.
That’s a far more productive use of Google than I could ever imagine. It’s remarkable that any one of us has access to tools that can change this world…albeit for better, or for worse too.