Over the next month, we’re celebrating technology and innovation in a new series called Bright Sparks. As part of the series, we’re bringing back some of our favourite articles about the people and ideas that are changing the world with technology.
Pancreatic cancer is a killer – and one that is very hard to detect. One of the reasons its survival rate is so poor that it has few symptoms in the early stages.
Partly spurred by the death of his uncle, 16-year-old scientist and researcher Jack Andraka vowed to find a quick and cheap way to test for signs of the disease.
Andraka's research – incuding writing to 200 science professors – led to him developing a dipstick diagnostic test which searches for a biomarker for pancreatic cancer. It can also be used to test for lung and ovarian cancer.
He tells BBC Future about his quest.