The medical field has seen a lot of remarkable discoveries and advancements over the last 10 years. While there were just as much blunders along the way, it can't be denied that the medical breakthroughs in the start of the 21st century are brilliant and priceless. Here are some of those:
(1) Human Genome Discoveries Made Known to the Public
In 2000, scientists involved with the International Human Genome project released to the public a draft of the human genome, so that for the first time the world is able to get hold of more information on human genetics, discovering what the 23,000 genes in the body can do.
The involved groups include Human Genome Project and Celera Genomics. The first one is government-funded and took 15 years and $3 billion to complete this task. The other one is a private company with $100 million funding and less than 10 years to achieve almost the same thing. Both of them released the draft in a joint press conference on June 26, 2000. In 2007, the final draft was published, paving the way for more medical advancements such as the preventive drug for prostate cancer.
(2) Enhanced Information Technology for both Doctors And Patients
Doctors can attest that before the time of the internet, if they needed to know something, they had to go to the library and bury themselves deep in journals and books. Nowadays, those long hours are transformed into a few minutes with the help of computers and internet.
Information technology and computer system have also improved hospital care tremendously. On top of that, patients are better informed because medical information can be at their fingertips by just browsing the net.
(3) Anti-Smoking Laws Reduced Risk of Respiratory Ailments
Although the United States doesn't have a national smoking ban, 27 states including the District of Columbia enacted smoking bans over the last decade. These smoking bans have significantly reduced the public's exposure to secondhand smoke, lowering cases of heart diseases and cancer. Apart from reducing secondhand smoke exposure, these anti-smoking campaigns are also good motivations for people to quit the nicotine habit, thereby improving the quality of life and reducing risk for various kinds of ailments.
(4) Laboratory Breakthroughs In Stem Cell Research
Stem cell research is indeed one of the most controversial areas of medical research. However, the amazing breakthroughs in this research have prompted the government to allow continuation despite objections from the public. One example would be the genetic manipulation of bone marrow cells from two 7-year-old boys. The genetically altered cells were transplanted back into the boys and the progress of the fatal brain disease adrenoleukodystropy (or ALD) was halted.
Medical breakthroughs will continue to inspire researchers, scientists and medical experts to pursue more discoveries and advancements for the betterment of the lives of the people all over the world.