A 17-year-old Indian-American student at the Mississippi Institute of Mathematics and Science has identified a molecule that can inhibit the growth of a bacteria that causes a disease which can be deadly to people who have AIDS, cancer, or cystic fibrosis, according to a story posted at VOA News. According to the article, the student intends to publish her results to the public rather than seek a patent on her technology. The article quotes the student as follows: "If I were going to patent this, the rights would have to be sold to a pharmaceutical company, and that would greatly increase the cost of the drug once it's developed. So to prevent that from happening, by publishing it, the information becomes readily available and any company that wants to manufacture it, would be able to. So the price would be much lower due to competition and the people who need it most will have access to it."
The key point that I take from this information is that anyone with enough motivation and a good work ethic can produce meaningful innovation, regardless of their age or current qualifications.