Inspired medical research

Teens make real advances in biomedical science

By Kellyn Betts, 17:21 PM May 7, 2013

Kelly Zhang, 17, discovered a way to help surgeons visualize cancer cells, which can resemble normal cells. She dyed microscopic particles, then added them to cells. Cancer cells took up more of the dye. This made them glow brightly. Credit: Chris Ayers Photography/SSP

Kelly Xinyi Zhang, 17, has been aware of cancer and its effects almost her entire life. When she was just 5, a friend developed bone cancer. Doctors amputated part of the girl’s leg, saving her life. Later, when Zhang was in middle school, the father of another friend was diagnosed with colon cancer. Surgeons tried but could not remove all of the cancer. Two years ago, he died.

People often find inspiration in such tragic and personal events. A few may even begin doing research while stil...

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