Never before has the world been so captivated by the most ordinary aspects of the scientific process.
For the previous two years, however, each incremental advance in science—from lab research to understanding the genesis of COVID-19 and building a vaccine to combat it, through clinical trials, to pharmaceutical approval—meant one thing: hope.
The following are some of the most amazing medical and health advances.
The Human Liver Repaired Using Cells Produced in a Lab
With a scarcity of liver donors, researchers backed by the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre set out to provide an alternative to transplants. This is the first time treatment of this kind has been utilized on human organs, and the discovery may expand the number of potential donor livers.
This strategy might potentially be used for a variety of organs and disorders, accelerating cell-based treatment research even further.
mRNA Vaccine Development
mRNA technology instructs our cells to produce a protein utilized by viruses, triggering an immune response in our bodies to combat the real infection. But why is this significant?
According to research, mRNA may be used to generate a variety of vaccinations and therapies for viruses in a fraction of the time and expense that is now required. The need to develop a COVID-19 vaccination quickly demonstrated the efficacy of mRNA as a whole. Not only did mRNA have an influence on vaccine science, but it also revolutionized the societal norms of research and development.
Researchers have been tinkering with CRISPR, a gene-editing technique that allows them to quickly change the human genome, since 2012 in order to address illnesses caused by DNA abnormalities.
In August 2021, researchers announced the findings of a six-person clinical study in which physicians sought to correct a genetic flaw that causes transthyretin amyloidosis, a rare liver ailment. The gene-editing technology was delivered to the liver in the form of a small blob known as a lipid nanoparticle, where it was set to work fixing faulty cells.
There is still a long way to go before this medication, which is still in the early stages of clinical studies, hits the market. However, if effective, it might open the path for the treatment of a broad range of hereditary disorders.
CT Scans That Are More Precise
CT scans provide comprehensive pictures of the human body's inside, which aid in the diagnosis and tracking of illness and injuries. Traditional scanners generate pictures by integrating the total energy of many x-rays. Some x-ray energy is wasted during this process, resulting in reduced resolution.
The Naeotom Alpha, a new scanner from Siemens, employs detectors that count photons to quantify every particle of light that passes through, resulting in crisper, greater contrast pictures of your body's inner workings.
A Game-Changing Obesity Treatment
For the first time since 2014, a new obesity drug has entered the market, providing hope to the 78 million Americans who face the various hazards of obesity, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and COVID-19 consequences.
And the new prescription — Semaglutide, better known as Wegovy — is substantially more potent than its predecessors, according to studies that aided its FDA clearance in June.
Semaglutide, an injectable medicine, is not a new concept. It's already being used to treat Type 2 diabetes since it's a synthetic version of a natural hormone that suppresses hunger.