Stephen Litt – 7th-Grader’s Science Project Finds Cancer-Fighting Chemicals in Green Tea

Stephen Litt, a seventh-grade student from Georgia, is all over the internet world for his remarkable science project which also helped him gain six awards for his Science Fair Project on Cancer. At an age when students like to spend time playing on PC’s this kid from Georgia loves spending time on his microscope observing how cancer spreads and what can be done to stop them. The kid is ruling the internet because experts feel that his experiments may not only help prevent breast cancer but also can lead to the discovery of regenerative medicine. Stephen who plays tennis is observing how does the cancer cell react to the antioxidants present in green tea and can the green tea be the solution that could drastically bring down the deaths among the females due to ‘breast cancer’.

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Stephen Litt was inspired to do a science fair project on cancer when he came to know that some of his friend’s mother suffered from breast cancer and were staring at a dark future ahead. Stephen has taken up the project which examines whether the antioxidant present in the green tea could prevent females from suffering breast cancer tumour. This project examines how does the antioxidant react against planaria, a type of flatworms and also can green tea be the solution to the dangerous breast cancer that claims several thousand lives every year.

Amazed by this seventh graders experiment and the advancement he has made in his research, The Tufts University research lab invited him over to their lab to carry on with his experiment during his spring break.

Stephen who has never been to a professional lab before was too excited about the visit and said that the time spent in the lab has helped him gain deeper knowledge about his research.

“I’d never actually been to a professional lab before, so I thought that was just the coolest part about it because I was actually in a lab,” Stephen told ABC News about his visit to the Boston-area school last week. “I was looking at experiments actually being done,” said an excited Stephen.

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The professor of Tufts who accompanied Stephen and helped him during his stay at the lab describes the boy as a genius and is of the opinion that the research might lead to the discovery of potential regenerative medicine which could change the medical industry forever. The professor also termed the science fair project as “remarkable” and “absolutely advanced for his age”.

“The work is very interesting and has the potential to advance not only cancer research but regenerative medicine as well,” said Michael Levin, the director of Tufts Allen Discovery Center.

Stephen was reading about malaria when his father told him to focus on cancer research, and since then Stephen is working very hard on finding possible solutions to prevent cancer. Stephen along with his dad, Levin Litt, have gathered all the materials online and have set up a research station in the front room of their family home.

Stephen has documented his observations of 100 planaria which were divided into four groups and their reaction to the EGCG, spring water and carcinogens. Stephen found out that the planaria exposed to EGCG grew no tumours during the time he observed them. Stephen shares that he is observing the planaria and its reactions using the microscope which was a present to him by his grandparents.

“When I was finding out the results, I felt like that was me truly finding out whether my project was successful or not, whether I actually did something, whether I actually helped someone,” says Stephen.

The Tufts Professor, Levin is of the opinion that by “establishing a model of cancer in planaria, Stephen is getting closer to one of the biggest secrets of life: how cells cooperate to build and repair bodies (regeneration) and how that process can fail (resulting in cancer)”. He also says that he was by Stephen’s maturity, creative approach towards experimentation and also about his methodical approach to answering the queries.

Stephen when asked how he feels when he devotes time for research, Stephen says he cannot describe the feeling in words, it just feels good, he says. He also is satisfied with the progress and also happy that he is doing something scientific and something that will help people all over the world.

We wish Stephen Litt all the very best and do hope that he will be successful in his experiments and will be able to make a positive impact on millions of lives all over the world. Do share this article to spread the word about this wonder boy and help us inspire thousands of youngsters to make discoveries that could change the world for better.

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