The speed of science nowadays is extraordinary fast. Technology is blooming and humanity has never known more about the world. We live with the certainty that in a few years people will land on Mars, AI will reveal how life has emerged and a cure for cancer will be probably discovered. We look upfront and rarely turn back. Because the best is yet to come, right?

But what we have now and often take for granted was actually only a scientific hope a couple of years ago. Breakthroughs in medicine, for instance, saved and improved the quality of life for millions. Whether it’s a change in public policy or scientific undertaking, there are some medical advances that have affected the world’s progress in a big way.

Human Genome Project. In April 2003, scientists announced they had completed a draft sequencing of the human genome, of all the genes that make up the DNA. Gene sequencing has helped researchers identify single genes that cause diseases and, in turn, has aided in creating better treatments.

HIV cocktails. In the not so distant past the threatening of HIV used to require a complex combination of different medications. Combining those medications was often under a difficult to follow schedule, especially when talking about people from developing countries where HIV rates are higher. In 2006 this has changed. A pharma company named Atripla has combined tree drugs into one daily “cocktail” pill. The new medication was approved by FDA in 2006. A couple of years later, in 2013, another company — Gilead Sciences — received permission to sell a pill that combines not 3 but 4 medications into one dose.

Laparoscopic surgery. This surgery is better known as minimally invasive surgery and it has become the norm of many operations like gallbladder removal, hernia repair and appendectomies. It is proven by the practice that patients who undergo laparoscopic procedures suffer from less pain, have smaller scars and recover faster.

HPV vaccine. This one sounds as it has always been around. Leaving all the debates led by the anti-vax movement aside, the HPV vaccine has the potential to eradicate one of the main mortality causers in women. Even though, the first human papillomavirus vaccine (Gardasil) was approved by FDA in 2006, the HPV-related cancers remain elevating.

Periods once in a while or not at all. In 2003 a new kind of birth control pill (Seasonale) was approved. It protects not only against unwanted pregnancy, but it reduces monthly periods to 4 times a year. Four years later another contraceptive pill (Lybrel) allowed women to stop their periods indefinitely.

Bionic limbs. From “i-limbs” to artificial organs, these advances in technology have led to an explosion of innovation in the increasingly critical field of prosthetics. Amputees now have the chance to live a life to the fullest thanks to the progress in prosthetics.

Of course, there are many more examples, that we want to spare for another blog post. The following video though adds some more facts and details to the overall picture of the medical progress. Have a look at it and tell us what we have to add to the next article or video!

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1 Comment

  1. […] Medical Advances We Took For Granted But Changed Our World Dramatically (Video) […]

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