Zheng Xin Yong

Saving our Breath: Detecting Lung Cancer Early

Zheng Xin Yong, Malaysia Global finalist, 16-18

Xin Yong (18) of Seremban, Malaysia, was shocked and worried when he heard that his mathematics teacher, a non-smoker, had suddenly developed advanced lung cancer. As a young scientist particularly interested in nanotechnology, Xin Yong used his skills to create a sensor that can detect the progression of lung cancer by analyzing their breath. He tested his device on patients formally diagnosed with cancer, as well as patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (who were yet to be diagnosed), and finally patients who were non-smokers and not diagnosed to have pulmonary disease. Xin Yong’s device costs only $1, is easy for anyone to operate, and it can provide test results within 10 minutes. Given that the device only requires the patient to breathe into it, it’s an easy test to administer. Xin Yong believes his device can help doctors and patients to catch lung cancer early enough to treat it easily and potentially eliminate the cancer entirely.

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