What’s the Latest Development?
The winner of this year’s Google Science Fair, a competition created for 13 to 18 year-olds to showcase their scientific achievements, was given top prize for writing a cloud-based computer program that makes diagnosing breast cancer a less invasive procedure. “17 year-old Brittany Wenger tested her method with 7.6 million trials to see how accurately it would detect cancerous tumors. It succeeded with a 97.4 percent success rate in prediction and 99.1 percent sensitivity to malignancy when analyzing samples collected from FNA.” Making the software available to doctors could mean less invasive tumor assessments.
What’s the Big Idea?
Similar to incentive-based competitions like the X Prize, Google’s Science Fair awarded Wenger with a $50,000 cash prize, a trip to the Galapagos Islands and a year’s worth of mentoring and internship opportunities. Called the ‘Global Neural Network Cloud Service for Breast Cancer,’ Wenger created her computer programs coded to “think like the human brain and then used them to locate mass malignancy in breast tissue samples.” When asked about her plans for the future, Wenger said she intends to major in computer science and then attend medical school, attesting to the importance of technology in the medical profession.
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