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12-Year-Old Discovers Anti-Cancer Agents In Green Tea

Everyone is proud of their kids, of course. Even when your kids are having a regular, non-remarkable day; you're proud of them. Because that's parenting. But imagine being the parent of a seventh grader who is trying to cure cancer with green tea. Now that's a day when you should be allowed to do a little kid boasting without any backlash whatsoever.

Which is just what Lesley Litt, the father of 12-year-old Stephen Litt, must feel like. Because during a recent science project, his son discovered a breakthrough in the cancer healing properties of green tea. Litt told People:

He started doing some reading on breast cancer and then he was reading about Japanese food and green tea — because we like that a lot. Somehow he found an article in doing searches on how Japanese people have less cancer then Americans. So he kept reading and reading and eventually came upon a whole bunch of research papers … on how planarian worms are used to study cancer.

CNN reported that Stephen and his dad got to work creating a makeshift laboratory in their home to test around 100 planarian worms by dividing them into four groups. Over the next four weeks, Stephen worked with his father (who is a chemist) to test whether or not a polyphenol in green tea would stop tumors from forming in the worms.

What Stephen found after analyzing his four groups of planerian worms was that the worms who had been exposed to a compound found in green tea, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, as well as being exposed to carcinogens, did not grow any tumors. His father Lesley Litt pointed out to CNN that sometimes youth has its advantages.

He stumbled along something because of his foresight, which most kids don't have. He really wants to share what he knows, and help people.
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Not only did Stephen win the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair, he managed to attract the attention of notable scientists across the country. He has been invited to Tufts University, according to his father, to view the lab for a visit on spring break. Stephen told ABC News he was beyond excited to see a real lab:

I’d never actually been to a professional lab before so I thought that was just the most cool part about it because I was actually in a lab. I was looking at experiments actually being done.

So here is what I learned from Stephen Litt's science project: I need to drink more green tea. And my own sad volcano clearly has no place in the science projects of today.