Daniel Halliday
Feb 22 · Last update 3 mo. ago.

What is the most exciting upcoming medical breakthrough?

2019 seems like it may be an exciting year for science and medical breakthroughs. Some of the worst diseases, conditions and health problems seem on a tipping point of solving. What are some of the most exciting scientific discoveries and breakthroughs we are on the verge of understanding?
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Body regeneration
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Virtual reality and AI augmented diagnoses
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Fighting the opioid crisis
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3D printing for new organs and prosthetics
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Synthetic organisms
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Melting Cancer
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The use of CRISPR/Gene therapy breakthroughs
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The discovery of the cause of Alzheimer’s
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Body regeneration

There have been a string of scientific breakthroughs in 2019 that may soon lead to what was once inconceivable, regeneration of the human body. There have been a range of studies and discoveries that have put pieces of this puzzle in place, including genetic switches that control body regeneration, making embryonic stem cells from skin cells, organ bio-printing, and growing live bone from a patients own body. Seemingly most promising however is research form Tokyo’s Medical and Dental University, where a research group have successfully produced multiple organs using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells). This represents a first in this use of stem cell technology, the iPS cells being used to grow a liver, pancreas, and bile duct, and although further research still needs to be carried out to provide blood supply to develop such organs further for use in transplantation, this represents a promising area of breakthrough medical science.

sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190314151546.htm sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190502143437.htm sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190502143518.htm sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190318151744.htm www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20190926_26

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Daniel Halliday
Sep 28
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Virtual reality and AI augmented diagnoses

The medical and healthcare industry is quickly becoming the leading users and innovators of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) applications. This is leading to a host of breakthrough techniques that may lead the way in the future of healthcare, for example the early diagnosis system for neurodegenerative diseases developed by the Siberian State Medical University, which uses VR and sensors to assess patients years before current methods at a fraction of the cost. Another promising field for these technologies is medical education, where students will be increasingly be able gain near hands on experience in a virtual environment, a true invaluable breakthrough.

orthofeed.com/2019/05/28/augmented-reality-and-virtual-reality-the-future-of-healthcare

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Daniel Halliday
Sep 28
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Fighting the opioid crisis

In the United States the opioid crisis claims 116 lives a day, it is thought to be caused in part by the over-subscription of opiate pain medication in recent years and its effects have been so widespread they have decreased the overall life national expectancy of US citizens. However this year a breakthrough in blood biomarker research at the School of Medicine at Indiana University in the US may help scientists in establishing a way to accurately measure pain, a method that may help alleviate the misdiagnosis of pain medication. Similar tools may be on the horizon and soon be available to doctors, from growing international legislation reclassifying natural drug alternatives such as cannabidiols, to increased access to genetic testing that is revolutionising the study of pharmacogenomics, which could lead to the creation of more precision medicines in the future.

desertcoverecovery.com/blog/breakthrough-in-measuring-pain-may-help-reduce-opioid-crisis

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Daniel Halliday
Aug 14
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3D printing for new organs and prosthetics

This year scientists have found that they can 3D print a full-scale functioning heart for the first time, these synthetic organs can be assembled from smaller printed parts using the patient’s cardiac cells and collagen instead of plastic. The earlier FRESH (freeform reversible embedding of suspended hydrogels) method was improved on by biomedical engineers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Illinois. Breakthroughs such as this could revolutionise medicine and make transplants of the future much less complicated, but in the mean time research into medical uses for 3D printing need to continue to make this technology better and cheaper, and hopefully first address present issues like universal global access to prosthetics in the short to medium term.

news-medical.net/news/20190808/Scientists-3D-print-full-scale-functioning-heart-components-for-the-first-time.aspx

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Daniel Halliday
Aug 14
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Synthetic organisms

Scientists from the Cambridge Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology have created the world’s first fully synthetic life-form this year, by generating a microbe with a fully synthetic genetic code. It was previously unclear if a genome this large could be created, and this breakthrough could potentially revolutionise drug manufacture, and more excitingly possibly lead to more efficient and viable ways of producing bio-fuels. Following on from previous research into bacteria such as E. coli being used to generate bio-fuel, such sophisticated levels of bio engineering could potentially make alternative fuels, and many other substances for that matter, much more feasible.

theguardian.com/science/2019/may/15/cambridge-scientists-create-worlds-first-living-organism-with-fully-redesigned-dna bbc.com/news/science-environment-22253746

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Daniel Halliday
Aug 14
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Melting Cancer

Cancer remains one of the most prevalent causes of death and is complex to treat, due to having a range of underlying causes and attacking various parts of the human body in different ways. However researchers from the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy in Bulgaria have demonstrated that magnetically charged nanoparticles activated through alternating magnetic field close to tumour cells can cause cellular hyperthermia, essentially melting and destroying cancer cells. However this technique is currently being tested on mice and human tissue samples, so it is unlikely to help in the fight against cancer in 2019, but a possible promising future procedure.

phys.org/news/2019-04-magnetic-nanoparticles-cancer-cells.html

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Daniel Halliday
May 6
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The use of CRISPR/Gene therapy breakthroughs

Since the early 2000s research in gene therapy, the transplanting of genetic material into a patient to treat a disease or disorder, has led to the discovery of some exciting, accurate and cost-effective tools that have been taken from naturally occurring gene editing enzymes found in bacteria. The CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) gene editing system has been controversially used to edit two human embryos in 2018 by Jiankui He, and policy regulations remain a matter of contention. However considering that research is under way in modifying mosquitoes so that they cannot transmit diseases such as malaria, and editing yeast to produce biofuel, this technology may be the foundation of many of the most exciting breakthroughs of 2019. sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190315095808.htm ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/genomicresearch/genomeediting

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Daniel Halliday
Mar 21
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The discovery of the cause of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic neuro-degenerative disease that is the cause behind the majority of senile dementia, a disease that affects the patient's ability to remember, think and many other issues. With a strong genetic link previously thought to be the underlying cause for the majority of Alzheimer’s patients, a recent small study has indicated a strong link between long term gum disease and Alzheimer’s, finding gingivitis bacteria present only in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s. It’s thought that the bacteria move first into the blood stream and then into the brain across the blood-brain barrier, causing a series of event that leads to Alzheimer’s; there is at least an association, and at most there is a clear link.

medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=174327

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Daniel Halliday
Feb 22
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