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Thread: The Future of Medicine

  1. #1

    Default The Future of Medicine

    I am curious, as to what everyone thoughts are about the future of medicine. I was just thinking today, can I sort of "do what ever I want", now, and not have to worry about the long term effects of it, twenty, thirty, forty, even fifty years from now, because medical technology will be so great, and will be able to heal me? I mean, I read an article, about artificial blood, thats in testing right now, which is given to trauma victims. For instance, if a patient is suffering from head trauma, you give them this and it delivers %34 more oxygen to the brain, then regular blood. This has already saved many lives, and greatly reduced inevitable brain damage to victims, who would otherwise had died, or been extremely mentally damaged. Such things like this, and with amazing medical discoveries being made every day, when do you think mankind will get to the point of having super-human life spans. Or even, just not having to worry about getting in a bad car accident, because technology is so advanced, we can just, "fix" you. Another thing... In biology this last week, we talked about an article entitled "Miracle Grow". Its about a new powder that supposedly helps "regrow" amputated limbs. A man got the tip of his finger cut off, working, and he got to the hospital, and he couldnt find it, so they couldnt reattach it. The mans brother in law was a lead scientist in this powder, and sent him some. Sure enough, 4-5 days later, the finger tip had regrown, just as it was, fingernail and all. The article brought up some very intriguing points.

    Supposedly, the powder uses something similiar to stem cells, which are basically blank cells, which are not coded to become any specific tissue, and can therefore, adapt to the area where its applied, and grow accordingly, recieving instructions from the exsisting cells DNA. Another interesting topic was, when humans are in the womb, there is not an inflammatory response to trauma, but instead, a regenerative response. So, its essentially like the tails of some lizards, if they get chopped off, then they simply grow back. However, the body mysteriously seems to 'switch' to the inflammatory response after the 6th month or so in the womb. So now doctors are trying to use gene therapy to discover the mechanism that controls the switch, and if its possible for there not to be a switch.

    This sort of technology is already being applied to soldiers in Iraq, who have suffered from massive skin burns, and this 'powder' is sprayed on, and the skin starts regenerating, and they heal, strikingly well. Our class had a two and half hour debate on this topic in class, and I am curious as to what everyone's thoughts are, as well as what your thoughts are for the previous topics....So, have at it!
    Last edited by Embraer; 06-Oct-2008 at 00:24. Reason: Forgot to mention something

  2. #2

    Default

    Wow, this is a great topic Connor. My thoughts on this miracle grow thing is that I am all for it as long as it is used for the right purposes (ones that you mentioned). I am especially impressed that it is being used for the soldiers in Iraq...I think that is absolutely awesome.

  3. #3
    daria7483

    Default

    Interesting topic. What you're describing is, in some ways, a world without consequence. Being able to drive however you want to without having to worry about serious injury or death? Probably not so much need for strict enforcement of traffic laws, then. Eating whatever you want and sitting on your butt all day without worrying because we can easily reverse or prevent obesity/diabetes/high blood pressure? No need for anyone to be disciplined or show restraint anymore. Sounds great, but how are we going to pay for all this technology? If everyone does what they want because the consequences can be reversed at a hospital wouldn't health care costs skyrocket?

    I'm not trying to knock all these ideas. I think it's great that someone's life could be saved in 30 years that we couldn't save today. But I'm just pointing out, all of this will have consequences and in some ways may not be good for us as a society. Just some food for thought...

  4. #4

    Default

    I absolutely agree, there are so many aspects that I could never talk about in one thread, and you make some great points. There are so many kinks that need to be worked out, but dont you think its possible that in thirty or so years, the average human life span, could be 110 years?

  5. #5

    Default

    I tought the same way when I was your ages, I figured by now medical science would be so far advanced cancer would be cured along with every other disease known to man.

    Things have improved but not that much, we know more about some diseases, but were not that far advanced.

    If I had any advice for younger people it would be to go into some sort of medical feild.

  6. #6

    Default

    On the idea of regeneration of limbs, suposedly, long ago, mammals had the ability to regenerate limbs. But we traded that in for an immune system that could better fight off cancer.

  7. #7

    Default

    Maybe it would be possible for me to be irresponsible about my health now and be healed later, but not only might those treatments cost a great deal of money, they may not pan out in time. I'm not going to take my chances just so I can smoke crack or something.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Incomplete Dude View Post
    Maybe it would be possible for me to be irresponsible about my health now and be healed later, but not only might those treatments cost a great deal of money, they may not pan out in time. I'm not going to take my chances just so I can smoke crack or something.
    I know what your saying, I was just saying, that you dont really have to worry about any major illness in the future, not that you can be completely neglegent.

  9. #9

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Chillhouse View Post
    On the idea of regeneration of limbs, suposedly, long ago, mammals had the ability to regenerate limbs. But we traded that in for an immune system that could better fight off cancer.
    Just cancer? I'm pretty sure Cancer isn't a disease...

  10. #10

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by diaperdude View Post
    I'm pretty sure Cancer isn't a disease...
    Well, the definition of "disease" is usually wide enough to include most forms of cancer. Note: there are LOTS of different varieties, and the researchers usually focus on one or a small group.

    One has to wonder why some individuals have resistance to cancer(s) and some get it so easily. It might be genetic or it might be immune-system related.

    Stem cell research may have some relevance to some strains of cancer, but there seems to be more interest in the tissue-regeneration area.



    Last edited by skinnypuppy; 07-Oct-2008 at 16:32. Reason: expanded a bit on my thoughts

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