You may think you're kid's latest science project was pretty cool, but did she help discover a cure for dog cancer?
A 13-year old California girl could have a lasting impact on future medical breakthroughs. Her science fair project could help find a cure for canine cancer.
When 13-year-old Allison Reed was deciding on a topic for her science fair project, she was inspired by her Golden Retriever, Sassy, who died from bladder cancer at the young age of three.
Allison said, "I wanted to know why she died of cancer. So last year, I looked at her p53 gene and it's the stop gene, and then this year I looked at her gmcsf gene, which is her immune gene."
"Allison's the type of child that's always, why did this happen and how can we help our puppies and future puppies," said her mother Rebecca Reed.
For about a year, Allison worked on her project by first extracting the mutated cancer genes from her dog's tumor, and then isolating the cancer-fighting gene.
Finally, she was able to clone that gene with the hope it can be useful in creating a vaccine for dogs.
Allison's step-father, John Levy said "It's an opportunity I wish that all students had."
Levy is not only Allison's step-father, but also her science project sponsor.
Most of Allison's work was done at a biotech company where Allison's step-father and her mother are scientists, working on cancer treatments.
"We're expecting great things from Allison," said Levy.
Allison, you've made us all proud of you, but you've also set an awfully high bar for this year's science projects all across America and around the globe.
Now, I am a pretty smart person myself, but here was my elementary school science project:
Take three kernels of corn. Put one kernel in each of three baby food jars. Water them all. One corn kernel gets no soil. One kernel gets no light. One kernel gets no air (except what was in the jar -- I didn't have access to vacuum-packing machinery).
Wait a week or two, add a few explanatory labels, and take the pitiful results to school.
Granted, that was my second grade project, but they didn't get much better from there.
Clearly there is only one solution if our kids are to have a chance to shine in their science fairs this spring. We need to hire them out as lab assistants to research scientists.