At its simplest, biotechnology uses biology and biomolecular processes to make technologies and products that help improve our lives, as well as the health of the planet.
Medical Biotechnology is a branch of medicine that researches living cells to find medicines and products that will help doctors diagnose illnesses before its too late. Some of the uses of biological tech is genetic testing, artificial tissue growth, and drug treatments. However, with all of these new advancements, some new concerns arise such as funding and ethics. Read on to learn how biotechnology is used to help heal the world today.
Here are some major medical biotechnology advancements with the potential to help the lives of many people.
One advancement is called CRISPR, and it utilizes a protein called Cas9, which acts like a pair of molecular scissors and cut strands of DNA. This can help scientist alter genome functions, also called genetic functions. Why, you might ask. Well, this can correct genetic diseases, treat illnesses, and prevent the spread of diseases. However there are many ethical concerns around it. New studies show that it can create tumors and cancers with uncontrolled or imprecise DNA deletions. And since pharmaceutical companies are "hush hush" about this, scientists aren't able to get more information.
Another advancement in this branch of medicine is the Tissue Nanotransfection, and it holds the ability to heal people with a single touch. It works by injecting genetic code into skin cells and it turns those into different cells to treat the disease. The potential for this type of gene therapy is huge, as it can help car crash victims, soldiers at war, and recent surgery patients.
Although biotechnologists are working tirelessly to offer longer and healthier lives for people with devastating illnesses, there have been some people with medical and ethical issues involved.
A huge risk of medical biotechnology is its impact during clinical trials. Clinical trials are test runs on real people that researchers use to understand how their new medicine might affect the public. Since biotech is so modern and new, many people can -- and have -- gotten hurt and even died from certain technologies. It's the researchers and doctors ethical responsibility to clearly outline the risks to patients hoping to get cured before they try the new medication.
Another ethical problem is biotechnology's high cost. It's very expensive compared to traditional treatment, and we might be excluding a whole class of people. The government, and even some of the public, think that it is the responsibility of doctors to provide good healthcare to all patients, regardless of who can buy the best care.
Yet another ethical concern is about something that everyone cares about: privacy. Imagine a doctors looks at a child's DNA, and determines that they are likely to contract a terminal illness or heart disease. Who should this knowledge go to, and should it impact their future lifestyle? As more and more inventions are being made, the government must constantly keep up to protect its citizens from these privacy breaches.
So what do you think? Do you think biotech should be more widely used? Let me know in the comments below.