Blue Skies: New Innovations in Healthcare
published: Dec. 9, 2017, recorded: November 2017, views: 9
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There has been significant interest in the therapeutic and scientific potential of stem cells since reconstitution of the haematopoietic system was first realized by bone marrow transplantation in the 1960s. The isolation of tissue-specific, multipotent stem cells from adult organs and the derivation of pluripotent human stem cells offer the potential for regeneration of a number of different tissues and organs susceptible to age-related degenerative conditions and traumatic injury. In the not-too-distant future, it will be possible to repair heart tissue damaged by myocardial infarction, to replace neuronal cells lost in Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases, to transplant new insulin producing cells for diabetics and myelinating cells for individuals afflicted with multiple sclerosis, and to replace bone and cartilage lost through aging and inflammatory disease. But this is just the first wave of new advances in healthcare. Emerging technologies around tissue fabrication, microbiomic diagnostics, cancer immunotherapy, robotics, and the rapid rise of synthetic intelligence and machine learning applied to diagnostics, drug discovery, and therapeutic management will fundamentally alter clinical medicine and significantly influence our perceptions of aging, health and disease, with a myriad of consequences for society at large.
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