NAIJ.com gathered that a 12-year-old 7th grader from Marietta, Georgia, discovered cancer-fighting chemicals in green tea through his research project that was originally focused on malaria virus.
The boy, Stephen Litt, has reportedly been conducting experiments since he was in 1st grade. His science project became more complex over the years and eventually grabbed national attention when it won the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair award.
The young scientist has made a fresh discovery in the course of his experiments. He is said to have found proof that chemicals in green tea have the potential to fight cancer.
He reportedly tested epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), an antioxidant in green tea, to determine whether it could prevent breast cancer tumors in planaria, a type of flatworms.
The latest discovery has put Litt in the limelight as senior scientists now want to meet him. Some are considering the possibility of partnering with the boy on his groundbreaking research project.
As a result of his extraordinary achievement, Litt recently received an invitation to go on a private tour of the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts University.
Lesley Litt, the boy’s father, who has reportedly been supporting him in the project as he is a scientist himself, sheds more light regarding the hope-lifting discovery. He said:
“It’s not a cure for cancer. What he found is a way to prevent cancer in these worms from those specific carcinogens. Their DNA is not the same as humans, but a professor at Tufts and a few others would like to know what’s going on. They want to help.”
Young Litt was initially not interested in finding vaccine for cancer. He wanted to focus on the malaria vaccine that he had read about in school. That was in October last year.
His father says around the same time, two of their relatives were diagnosed with breast cancer, and that was when young Litt changed his mind from malaria to cancer.
“He started reading about cancer, specifically breast cancer. He found an article about how the Japanese might have lower cancer rates because of green tea. He then read an article in Livescience about anti-cancer secrets in green tea.”
Litt found himself reading and doing experiments as he researched on cancer, and more specifically breast cancer. He eventually discovered what could potentially become a cancer vaccine.