Pace of inventions will never be the same…

GO invent something NOW!

You think I am kidding. Sorry to disappoint you my readers. The game has changed. No excuses.

You are probably wondering that you are not qualified. No PhD. No nothing. “How could I possibly think about being a scientist?” Think again. Here are some recent examples of young people out of high school or college at best who have invented something that has or will change the game pretty soon!

Invention #1: Device that could charge a cell-phone in 20 seconds!

Cell phones have come a long way. Your average smartphone today is more advanced than all the technology NASA ever had in 1969 with which man set foot on the moon. But there is one thing that has been slow to improve and that’s battery life. Getting through a day without juicing up your mobile handheld for a quick shot is still very unlikely. Some very qualified people I am sure at both Apple and Samsung are working hard at solving this one handicap to these super advanced technology we use everyday. And here we are an 18-year old from Saratoga, California has cracked the code. Eesha Khare has developed a supercapacitor which is just over an inch long but is able to fully charge a cell phone battery in about 20 to 30 seconds. For this achievement she received prize money of $50,000 along with an admission to Harvard University. How is that for a science project?

Invention #2: Self-Driving Car that costs only $4000 to make!

OK so what’s the big deal? Why does the world need autonomous cars in the first place. Unfortunately 87% of car accidents are a result of human error leading to around 2 million deaths and another 57 million related injuries worldwide. A self-driving can reduce these errors significantly. The technology as it stands today can take into consideration a 360° view of the environment in real time without getting distracted by sleepiness, intoxication or text messaging! The only problem is that the technology costs $75,000 as is being tested by Google. In comes Ionut Budisteanu, a 19-year Romanian who has come up with a more cost-effective way of achieving similar results. His solution uses artificial intelligence with a low-resolution webcam. Test results? 47 times out of 50 his system performed flawlessly. With some help (which he has already got – a Romanian company is funding his prototype for further development) he will cross that bridge sooner or later.

Invention #3: An early detection method for pancreatic cancer!

Cancer continues to be one of those elusive terminal diseases that can best be cured if detection is early. Unlike many other forms, pancreatic cancer can be the hardest to detect because of where the organs lie in our body, nestled deep in a cavity. So what kind of impact can early detection do for pancreatic cancer? Pancreatic cancer is known to be the most lethal forms of cancer with a 5-year survival rate of 6%. This method could potentially save about 40,000 lives a year. Not bad for a 15-year old. Of course unlike the other two inventions which were developed by relatively “average” people. This cancer detection method has been developed by a prodigy named Jack Andraka. Early detection can only work if it’s as simple a cheap blood test and that is what Jack has achieved. When the cancer takes hold of the body there is an overabundance of a protein called mesothelin in the blood. This test helps detect this excess in about 5 minutes with less than a drop of blood! Now that’s a game changer!

So what’s is our excuse? Are these kids outliers who just happen to put in those 10,000 hours very early on as Malcolm Gladwell might argue? Are these kids the product of the internet age who were given all the right tools to research and empower themselves very early on? I am not sure exactly what is going on but I know one thing for sure…there are many more of these kids waiting to be discovered, working very hard as we speak to change the game for generations to come!

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