Heman Bekele, a 14-year-old American student in ninth grade, was named “America’s best young scientist” after developing a soap that could be useful in treating melanoma, a type of skin cancer that has originate in pigment-producing skin cells called melanocytes.
The teenager also explained that, in the medicinal product’s formula, he infused three ingredients that reactivate dendritic cells, responsible for generating an immunological response to combat the disease. They are: salicylic acid, glycolic acid and tretinoin.
His mentor at 3M, Deborah Isabelle, quoted by Notícias ao Minuto, described the teenager to the newspaper as “committed to making the world a better place for people he doesn’t yet know”.
According to the American Cancer Society (ACA), skin cancer is the most common of all cancers in the US, with melanoma accounting for just 1% but causing the majority of skin cancer deaths.