Breakthroughs in medical discoveries have always been an important part of helping people stay healthy. This is especially true when it comes to dealing with life-threatening conditions such as heart disease or curing diseases that are responsible for killing tens of thousands of people every year like cancer. Well breakthroughs have always been an important part of pharmacology, more recent scientific breakthroughs have given hope to individuals where there previously was very little.
Some of the more recent advances in drug discovery can promise hope of a longer life and even a full recovery from diseases that were almost certainly a death sentence. However, the science doesn’t end there. It’s not just about discovering new medications to treat existing diseases. It’s also about creating new methods of treating patients who are terminally ill or severely injured. Sometimes, this involves making new medications or improving existing ones. That said, it might also mean creating new technologies that allow a struggling heart to beat again or even reverse the chain of DNA responsible for that first cancer cell that springs to life.
If you or someone you love has been directly impacted by these types of advancements, you know how important they are. They truly are life-changing and at times, life-giving. Below are five dramatic technological advances in drug discovery. Some of them are truly astonishing.
1. Using 3D printers to make organs
It might sound like something directly from a science fiction movie, but it’s actually happening in medical labs. Scientists are using the technology associated with 3D printers to make new organs that are fully functional, in almost every way as if the individual in question had been born with that particular organ in their body. This is technology that obviously hasn’t been perfected as of yet, but the research is promising. If doctors are successful at creating something like this in the mainstream, it may be possible to replace failing kidneys or a damaged liver. In short, there is potential to extend the life of individuals who might have otherwise found their time on earth cut short by something that was previously untreatable.
2. Nanobots to treat cancer
If you think that this sounds like they’re using robots to treat cancer, you’re exactly right. Nanobots are microscopic robots that can be ingested in a simple pill. In fact, the technology has been used in the medical community for several years in order to track health information when necessary. However, this technology takes things to the next level. Once the nanobots are inside the body, they are essentially programmed to seek out cancer cells and destroy them without causing any harm to the surrounding cells or the tissues in that area. This is vastly different from radiation, which kills all of the cells in a given area. It’s also a huge step up from traditional chemotherapy, as this essentially amounts to having poison pumped into your body with the intent of killing the cancer cells. The problem is, it does a great deal of damage to the body and can cause all kinds of side effects ranging from severe nausea and vomiting to heart damage. Conversely, the nanobots can rid the body of cancer without any harmful side effects.
3. Back Scattering Interferometry (BSI)
This is a very technical term for a process that is used to advance current drug treatments in order to tackle problems that medical professionals are seeing more and more often. More specifically, it is being used to develop a greater understanding concerning the lack of effectiveness in current treatments for some infections. While traditional antibiotics used to be more effective in treating infections, they’re becoming less and less so. The end result is that more individuals are getting sick and when they do, it’s much harder to get them healthy again. This research is focusing on ways to make existing medications more effective. It’s accomplished by using a series of cameras and microscopes to understand how the antibiotics interact with infection on the cellular level. The research is being done in hopes of finding a “smoking gun” that will allow researchers to tweak existing medications so that they are more effective in the future.
4. Using Artificial Intelligence to track health conditions
While new medications might be able to help an individual who is struggling with a particular health condition, it’s virtually impossible to effectively treat a person if their condition cannot be tracked accurately. It is sometimes next to Impossible to get a truly accurate reading of a person’s baseline health while they are in the doctor’s office. For one thing, people may be nervous and this could have a dramatic impact on their vital signs. In addition, people don’t always have a particular symptom when they are actually being evaluated for something that has been bothering them. If the symptom is something that comes and goes, they should go to one doctor’s appointment after another without that symptom being detected in real time. The use of monitoring equipment and artificial intelligence allows doctors to monitor their patients and see what is going on with them as it actually happens.
5. Stem cell treatment
Stem cell treatment is one of the most amazing medical discoveries of recent years. It involves using a patient’s own cells, extracted from their body, to heal everything from cancer cells to damaged tendons. They can also help with chronic breathing issues, paralysis and those suffering heart damage after a cardiac event. The idea is to extract a person’s cells and then use their stem cells by injecting them directly into the damaged area of the body. Those cells then help regenerate the area where the damage has occurred. Scientists have even used stem cell therapy to generate a beating heart inside of a lab. This offers great promise for individuals who have potentially life-threatening conditions, as the stem cell therapy may be able to dramatically reduce the health problems they are experiencing. In some cases, the treatment might be able to reverse the condition altogether.
There is no doubt that these advances and others like them will continue to be researched in the coming years. Imagine a future where people don’t have to worry about dying from cancer or watching someone they love slowly slip away because their heart is failing. With these advances in medical technology and drug therapy, it is a very real possibility that people could live longer, healthier lives.