Eva Vertes is a microbiology prodigy. Her discovery, at age 17, of a compound that stops fruit-fly brain cells from dying was regarded as a step toward curing Alzheimer's. Now she aims to find better ways to treat -- and avoid -- cancer.
Eva Vertes may not yet have the answers she needs to cure cancer, but she's asking some important -- and radical questions: If smoking can cause lung cancer, and drinking can cause liver cancer, is it possible that cancer is a direct result of injury? If so, could cancer be caused by the body's own repair system going awry?
She asks this and other breathtaking questions in her conference-closing 2005 talk. Her approach marks an important shift in scientific thinking, looking in brand-new places for cancer's cause -- and its cure. Her ultimate goal, which even she calls far-fetched, is to fight cancer with cancer.