He did it as part of a science competition for children, and, while some kid comes up with a 'breakthrough' in cancer research nearly every year, it's not all of them that become as famous as he does.
Jack is a hero to many. His video on how he reacted and screamed like a sissy in sheer delight when he received his award has become viral, and it seems that every other month he does another TEDtalk, and now he is working on one of the XPrizes, a device that is meant to be similar to the Tricorder from Star Trek, a mobile phone sized device that detects any disease just by scanning. He even has his own Wikipedia page en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_and…
Is it wrong, then, that I sense that something really fishy is afoot, that I suspect that the boy may even be... dare I say it... a FRAUD?
Let's start with his story. He gives nearly the same account verbatim in every TEDtalk. He tells of his uncle/family friend/family friend who was like an uncle who died, and how that inspired him to work on pancreatic cancer, and yet we never hear any anecdotes of how much this 'uncle' meant to him. And then the tale of how he searched through some great big database of proteins to find which protein was the best indicator of pancreatic cancer... it was already well-established that mesothelin is a biomarker for pancreatic cancer, all he had to do was type "biomarker for pancreatic cancer" into Google and he would have found out far sooner. Also, his 'epiphany' reportedly came while he was in biology class, surreptitiously reading a book on nanotubes while the teacher was lecturing on antibodies, and they caught him and he got in trouble for reading in class... I don't doubt that his teacher would be ass enough to do that, but really? This statement is crafted as if to suggest to an unwitting and ignorant populace that HE came up with the idea to use antibodies attached to carbon nanotubes to detect proteins in blood (and urine reportedly, although the concentration in urine is different than the concentration in blood so he needs to take that into account and also control for droplet size) whilst skirting the legal boundaries that would have him in trouble for infringement had he claimed to have actually invented the concept, since the idea to use nanotubes to detect antibodies is not new, and in fact is used frequently in science, though most people don't work in a lab so they don't know that, and thus fall prey to belief in all such 'innovations' that kids such as him supposedly come up with.
And the one scientist that accepted his proposal, Dr. Anirban Maitra of Johns Hopkins, just happens to specialize in the kind of research that Jack was doing, and just happened to live nearby. I have heard a few others over the internet who suspected that they just thought a 15 year old making such a breakthrough would secure more funding for the lab, having actually done the idea for him...
And the timeline is just wrong. Reportedly, he came up with the idea in spring 2011 in what for him would have been 8th grade biology class (he said in one interview he was taking high school biology at the middle school and it sounded strange the way he said it, it was on his interview with The Singularity) BUT... he was a finalist for another science fair during that year, the Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge, working on an entirely different project. He would have been interning for that over that particular summer, and then presenting the findings in the fall. Which means that he was most likely NOT working on the pancreatic cancer project over the time period that has been given.
What I think is more likely, given that Steve Jobs died that fall, and the very next spring he wins an award for research in detecting the same kind of cancer that Jobs died from (completely ignoring the fact that Steve's cancer was of an entirely different nature; his was an insulinoma, which isn't as deadly as the pancreatic adenocarcinoma whose 5 year survival statistics Jack rattles off in every video, also I'm not sure if mesothelin detects an insulinoma)... yeah, Steve Jobs is likely the 'family friend' that inspired him (he had enough fanboys that would have said that it felt like a family member had died when he passed away). Of course, he could not state that it was Steve since he was supposedly working on the project BEFORE Steve died.
And he says, after months of failure, he finally manages to make ONE test strip. ONE. Which, according to my understanding of how it works, is single use, and yet somehow he has tested it on enough cases to determine that it is 100's/1,000's of times better than current cancer diagnostics (pardon me for not having rotely memorized the exact figures!)
It is also noteworthy to mention that Jack is openly gay. Now, I have nothing against gay people, but I get the feeling he is using his gayness as a vehicle to promote his popularity. I mean, how else can a white male be considered a minority group and thus get special treatment and give baseless accusations of hate crimes to anybody who hates him for some other reason? ALSO, after reading his bio on the Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge website, I found out that he was a member of Boy Scouts. That was when he was 14, and yet he claims that he has been openly gay since he was 13. Now that HAS to be a lie, otherwise they would have kicked him out of Boy Scouts. So, maybe he was later kicked out and never made it public, or he quit because of that stupid policy (in which case he would have quit sooner and not put it on his bio for his entry form). OR, maybe the 'gayness' is all an act for publicity, simple as that, although he certainly acts and sounds very gay, or camp would be the more PC word for it given that not all men who act 'gay' are in fact homosexual. But I have to wonder about a boy who is supposedly so dedicated to science and also so boy crazy at such an early age...
But the strongest evidence of my suspicions came from when I actually got to talk to him over Facebook. I tried to discuss science with him, but all he would do was redirect me to some science news website and conveniently avoid discussing anything original. All he did was mention his friends' ideas. Also, he got into an argument about global warming with me and a couple of other people, and it showed how narrow minded he was, that he would insist that "global warming is scientifically proven" when in fact there is no way to prove such a thing for as fuzzy a field as meteorology/earth science, and he accused me of being a conspiracy theorist for suggesting he look at both sides of the debate critically before he just copies the popular scientific opinion (because it makes you feel like such a grown up to have such strong opinions, especially if they're the same as the establishment's, am I right?) and he called anything that isn't peer reviewed "useless fringe science". This is very hypocritical of him, considering he went on about how narrow minded adults are in one of his videos and here he is copying the adults' opinions without even thinking for himself!
And there you have it. I know I will have angered some of you, and some of you will think I am jealous of him or just plain crazy (for the record, I have ORIGINAL cancer ideas coming out of my ears but one, cancer research is not my greatest scientific interest and two, I would rather study more first and then develop my ideas on my own, something about working in someone else's lab rubs me the wrong way), so, in an effort not to come off as an indiscriminate hater, I will give credit where credit is due. I will admit, if the story IS true as given by the mainstream media, then it is more impressive than what the average cancer researcher kid does, which is just work on the lead scientists' project (Jack was reportedly working on his OWN idea). And in his videos he makes good points about why research should be open access, and it is very smart of him to point out how out of date the health care system is. But either way, what we are doing is underpromoting older scientists, some of whom are children at heart who have been dreaming about what he is now doing since they were his age but didn't get the chance to do because they weren't, ahem, privileged... in favor of a fresh-faced, outspoken child with above average intellect (to say genius at this point would be a stretch; that has yet to be proven in my opinion). Being gay doesn't hurt either.
And now I need to ask... is it so crazy that I think there may be a conspiracy involved here? It's a stretch to imagine how or why, given he supports such good causes, but if my suspicions are correct based on the information I have found then he is lying through his teeth in every one of those TEDtalks, and I can't imagine how he could in good conscience do that. It is not such a stretch, however, to think that the death of his friend, Philip Streich, a VERY brilliant young man who founded a company dedicated to revolutionizing the world through graphene and solar energy research, had been something more sinister than suicide or a mere farm accident as was ambiguously reported... oh and Philip's research involved nanotubes too. I have no idea how they would have met though, given that there is a six year age difference between them (Philip died a year ago) so they never would have been in a science fair together and they don't live in very close proximity to each other, especially to have known each other well enough to be "BFFs" as Jack had claimed.
Feel free to present me with any argument that will debunk my crazy suspicions, if you have one.
Not for nothing, but how many freaking TEDtalks does one kid need?
Well, I said nothing about conspiracy theories here! He believes that the right wing is purposely biasing their research to suit their agenda; doesn't that make HIM the conspiracy theorist?
Either way, he demonstrated hypocrisy (compare to a video he shot where he chides people over 30 for being closed minded) and that he can be a real jackass.
Ugh that's all these pseudo intellectuals want to discuss these days is global warming, and bash Creationism, and spread the word to ignorant idiots that vaccines don't cause autism (just leave out the data on Guillain-Barre syndrome...) oh and whatever they saw on Big Bang Theory. Oddly for a science type, I think actually cracking a textbook is more fun than watching Star Trek! (The fact that I'm not a Trekkie has just alienated half the physics community)
Remember Al Gore and his pil-of-shit book about global warming. He sold millions of copies. Everybody had to have a copy of the pile-of-useless-shit. If they convince that a carbon nanotube is useful, maybe the governments of the world will buy tons of them to test, even though they may turn up to be useless (they've done if before with their AIDS crap). And further from that, they may be using this to foster research on nanotube manufacturing, as thay have used bitcoin's freedom, independence and anonimity bullshit to foster HPC manufacturing.
Yes I was just thinking that they were using him to promote the nanotube industry. Paper tests like these can be made using many different technologies, he just picked nanotubes for that reason. He even admitted that somebody else had actually invented the same thing to use to sense bacterial proteins, which makes it all the more unlikely that he got the idea the way he explained, the story with the teacher getting mad at him for reading nanotube books in class - PERFECT anecdote to stir the public's sympathy, I mean who can't relate to a jerk teacher like that? But his teachers are so lax on him now, not even caring if he attends class, I have a hard time believing that. I think he's not even really a student at that school, a 'bad' school as it has been described, he is again being used to draw publicity and funds to that school, all the while being homeschooled in reality.
I heard him give speeches on how nanotubes are the 'superheroes of materials science'... he copied that spiel from his late 'BFF' Philip Streich. Seriously, look him up, he died in 'a farming accident' or by 'suicide' or whatever they changed it to just over a year ago...
I don't know why they want to promote this kind of fraud. Maybe it is collective parallel reality, I don't know, I can't explain it, I should know about what they want to form an idea of their purposes, but this kid's story simply dies not add up at so many levels.
Also check on his most recent project, which is a Raman spectrometer that he claims is way smaller and more efficient than current models... that is simply not true. I really think this is a case of putting a young pretty face on products to sell them, just like they use Justin Bieber to sell shitty music.
He is gaining the sentiment of all the suspicious people that believe that Big Pharma is holding back the real cancer cures, all the while he is laughing at them, for he in fact despises them for thinking flu shots cause autism or whatever. These people should all be riled up against him, but instead they think Big Pharma is going to kill him or silence his ideas... in reality, this invention has the potential to make MORE money for them. It won't replace expensive diagnostic tests at all, if anything it will make them more money using CAT scans and the like. A (possibly false) positive on a 3 cent test paper (no idea how nanotubes can be made that cheaply but that's a different issue) is enough to justify the cost of a CAT scan to locate the actual tumor so it can be cut out or radiated or whatever, and if it does turn out to be false then the x-rays from the CAT scan might make it so that they DO get cancer even if they didn't have it in the first place.
Stuff like this can't get passed as an actual product easily, but if he works his political charms and has the entire public, INCLUDING the people that usually rail against people like him backing him up, well then there isn't much anybody can do about it. So fiendishly brilliant, I can just picture the professor grinning and rubbing his hands together when he got the idea...
but yes,people totally kiss jacks ass and crap like that.
he's probley not even gay.im lesbian and i know a gay person when i hear one or see them.
I dont think anyone is using him though.Noone would use a weak thing like him.someone obviously gave him the idea or something or other.
The bloody git is a fraud.