The field of medicine is constantly working on improving our lives and finding cures for the diseases that plague humankind. People suffering from cancer, Alzheimer's disease or those that are in need of blood transfusions, transplants and prosthetics might finally sigh with relief as science came a huge step closer to curing and treating all of these conditions. To learn more about the scientific innovations that may soon enable the cure of these terrible illnesses, continue reading a watch the video at the end of every section.
What is Alzheimer's disease? 50 million people worldwide suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The symptoms include progressive memory loss and a decrease in cognitive and executive functioning. We know that Alzheimer’s symptoms are exhibited because the brain tissues change and start forming knots called amyloid plaques that prevent the brain tissue from working.
The treatment: Research also shows that the plaques may form because the genes responsible for maintaining a healthy brain tissue stop doing their job properly with time, so they created a chemical compound that would restore the functioning of those genes. The same compound also urges brain cells to communicate better with each other, which were shown in an experimental setting to improve memory. For more details, don't forget to watch the video below.
With advancements in computer engineering, people in need of prosthetic limbs can now get a new kind of prosthetics, ones that move at the mind’s will or even ones that can make the person wearing it regain their sense of touch and texture.
Though this technology is still very expensive and only a few people have these exclusive prosthetics, like any technology they will eventually be more widely available and also capable of achieving new tasks. For example, researchers are already working on prosthetics that would mobilize paralyzed individuals. Needless to say, this is a groundbreaking discovery. The video below explains how these prosthetics work in detail.
1. Surgeons have successfully conducted a uterus transplant from a deceased donor, and the recipient of the transplantation successfully carried her child to term.
2. Another landmark transplantation was conducted on baboons that received pigs hearts and survived with the transplanted organ. This makes the possibility of animal hearts being transplanted to humans much closer, which would mean that the lines for a heart transplant may decrease dramatically.
For more on both kinds of transplants, click on the video below.
Why are red blood cells important? Our red blood cells are very important because they are the ones that carry oxygen to all of our body parts. But sometimes, the genes that program the way our red blood cells look like when they are produced malfunction and the person with that problematic gene will suffer from a blood disease.
The treatment: A variety of different medicines are being tested that would edit that bad gene and make the human body produce healthy red blood cells once again. At least a few of these methods have already been tested on humans and proven effective and safe.
To see how this works, watch the video below.
What are antiviral treatments? Unlike antibiotics that kill bacteria, there are very few antiviral medicines and even those that do exist target only specific strains of viruses. An effective broad-spectrum antiviral may be already on its way, though, and here are the top 3 contestants for that role.
The treatments: One method targets a specific kind of RNA that is present in virus cells when they are multiplying in a human cell and kills that cell to prevent the virus from spreading. Another method makes the virus an easier pray to our immune cells by dissolving its protective armor called a capsid.
The final and third method is one that is most likely to cure a common cold, which it's already accomplished in animal trials. This medicine creates clones of the same virus that are unable to infect healthy cells and do harm, but still replicate and force out the harmful virus out of the organism.
If you like this topic and want to know more than this preview, watch the video below.
We have written about the possibility of a male birth control pill already, but now science got another step closer to a male birth control pill that would work, have no side effects and would have to be taken only once daily, much like female birth control.
The treatment: This pill is an altered version of the male hormone testosterone, which, when present in the blood in specific quantities, would urge the testicles to stop producing sperm cells while leaving the rest of the semen alone. For a more detailed account of the research, watch the following video.
Doctors need to know their patients’ blood group because transfusing the wrong kind of blood can lead to an adverse immune response in the patient. But there is a blood group that can be transfused to everyone, group 0 because it lacks the sugar molecules that can trigger the adverse immune response.
The treatment: To alleviate the need of blood groups into account during a transfusion, scientists are working on a method that would turn every blood sample into group 0 blood. In order to do that, they created a bacteria that eats the extra sugar from the blood sample, thereby turning it into blood that can be transfused to every patient. The video below explains in greater detail how this works.
The treatment: Unlike most vaccines, the suggested cancer vaccine will be administered after a tumor was found in a patient. The job of this vaccine would be to stimulate a type of immune cell called T-cells to call other immune cells in the body to gather and eradicate cancer cells faster than they will be able to multiply.
This treatment was so effective in mice that they didn’t only cure their cancer, but also make the immune system prevent future tumors. This method is yet to be tested on humans. To learn more about this amazing treatment, don't forget to watch the following video.