Health science is one field that evolves continuously regardless of the country. Providing medical care to people is the utmost duty of every government. This also means that a lot of funds are regularly being pumped into the medical research realm for research to continue. Young talent has to be hired and huge federal grants cleared in order to take the research forward. So, let’s discuss which fields receive the most number of patents and where all the research money goes.
This has become the Achilles heel of the medical world. Every country has earmarked some portion of their annual budget for this research. Some of the latest development is concentrated on prostate cancer, breast cancer and womb cancer research. In the UK, cancer scientists have, for the first time, discovered in our body cells have to compete among one another to continue the growth of blood vessels. Also, they have revealed how by maintaining the balance of important cell receptors, diseases can be controlled. This can also lead to the discovery of how tumors grow in certain regions and not in others.
This is a sub-field of nanotechnology and of the overall biotechnology field. This branch uses DNA’s unique molecular recognition properties to manufacture DNA controllable structures. Working at DNA level has been nothing short of exciting for scientists. It has huge applications in DNA computing and molecular self-assembly. Scientists have to consider the DNA molecules as structural elements rather than a storehouse of genetic information. In the near future, this field will also lead to research in DNA-Biotechnology.
In this realm, the hottest debate goes on about neural networks. It means a network inspired by neural networks of the brain or biological neurons. Artificial neuron networks are being created to study the brain and have a significant implementation potential in various fields. It is used to create computational devices (in CMOS). Recently, nano-devices were also studied using this approach. The ultimate research of this field may be creating neural computing. This can very well mean the end of digital computing.
Better known as neuro-science, this field has limitless potential. Human brain has not been explored till date. However, this is a vast research realm and encompasses numerous disciplines. But the majority of the current research is focused on these areas:
ADD and ADHD
Brain injury Diagnosis Technology
Neuro-science has so far helped unlock many puzzles of the brain. The latest 256-slice CT scan machines have taken the brain imaging to the next level. They are fast and efficient machines revealing more of the brain’s internal workings and helping hospitals handle traumatic brain injuries.
Genetic research has also been witnessing some long strides recently. Discovering and studying human genetic facets provides information about various diseases. It refers to the gene insertion into a person’s biological tissues and cells. Scientists are trying to induce genes into human cells. This can help cure diseases like Cystic Fibrosis, Sickle cell anemia, muscular dystrophy, Hemophilia etc.
Some of the applications lie in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s and cancer research. Recently, scientists have discovered a new gene therapy that helps in treating lung and skin cancer. This new therapy involves Suicide-Coli phage-gene. Then there’s the germ-line gene therapy. In these germ cells, such as eggs or sperm, are altered by introducing functional genes and then again integrated with original genomes.
Stem Cell Research
Let’s discuss another realm and take the total to 6 medical research areas. This is a controversial yet highly lucrative medical research field (not to mention very much untapped in the way of research and reward). Many countries have developed strict procedures regarding the stem cell research. Manufacturing human limbs to prevent accidental injuries is a noble thought. Cloning, however, may not seem a good application of this field. Recently, stem cells have been created that have the ability to glow like fireflies. Someday, these could help physicians cure injured hearts without any need to cut patients’ chests.
Stem cell research is largely unregulated, with a few notable exceptions in the USA. Since this filed has serious implications, scientists all over the world have been trying to develop an ethical code to oversee developments of this industry. In the USA, the doctors have recommended these regulations just in time. A US judge recently passed a judgment, which was effective in stopping federal funding given to an embryonic stem cell research. Also, some countries have imposed sanctions on pharma and research companies concerning with stem cell research.