Although we have gotten very far in the medical area of science, there is still a lot more continue researching on. Not only the deadly illnesses we face today, but also another, perhaps more ethical part of medicine.
Future medical advancements
Scientists have succeeded in making a substance that encourages your cells to reproduce outside your body. A copy of your organ, or for that matter your whole body, can be made. This has been able due to research which has been made for over 50 years. The project started in the United States, but later on was spread over Europe as well. Many years ago, the first printed organ based on DNA was placed inside a terminal heart patient and the organ was not rejected. Now, an organ completely build up from your own DNA, and its own reproduction of it, can be made and placed inside of you, without almost any risk of rejection of the organ. There are many ethical problems linked to this invention, for example; is it correct to give life to something, which actually should not be given life to? Many psychologists argue about this, but when it has been invented it is difficult to act as if it was not there.
Some months after, scientists were able to put together a whole body, the first human put together by reproduction of one person’s cells. People will now be able to create their own clone, reproducing their cells. Whether this will be permitted by the governments is another question, but the ability is there.
The human genome has been deciphered. Within now and a couple of years, people will be able to send in their DNA and get their whole genome written down within a few weeks. This has been a major breakthrough in genetic history. Scientists have been working on this for many years, devoting much time into it and they’ve finally pulled it off. The project started over 60 years ago, in many different countries and continents. They first thought that a great deal of it was junk and had no use at all, but now every single part of the DNA has been identified; what it shows and what it codes for.
Improvements in medicine have led to fewer illnesses and less necessity of going to the doctor. People are taken care of better and are better prepared for whatever virus is out there. Regular people have become immune to most diseases which were ordinary 50 years ago, like most forms of influenza.
Instead of going to the doctor, you can see a doctor through a computer. He will then observe you and diagnose what it is you have. Whenever tests need to be done, you just send a sample of your blood or urine and he’ll investigate it.
Who hasn’t heard of Dolly the sheep. It was the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell. Previously in 1952 a tadpole had been cloned already. But it took very long for Dolly the Sheep to be cloned, it took many attempts, and also for the cloned horse Prometea.
Many ethical issues link to it. Religious views are not that positive, people think playing God is not correct. And you should not create life instead of God.
But progress has been made, in January, 2008, the first five mature human embryos have been cloned using DNA from adult skin cells. It’s not sure if the embryos would develop normally further, but if it would, it would be illegal and unethical according to the professors and the embryos were destroyed.
Human clones can have lots of advantages, primarily in the healthcare system; for example: you need a new heart, a perfect heart that your own body wouldn’t reject, you could clone your DNA, and make the stem cells turn into heart cells, and you could have your new ‘old’ heart again, same goes for making new kidneys, bladders, lungs, and other tissues and organs.
Cloning can be used to revive extinct animals, a dream for almost all scientist. In the hit Jurassic Park from Spielberg this was the case. Once a Woolly Mammoth was a target, but extracting DNA from frozen mammoths has been unsuccessful. Endangered species can also be saved, a cow gave birth to a guar, an endangered species. Unfortunately the calf died a few days later. If this technology will develop a lot further, the Zoo of Revived Extinct Animals may become true, but it is a long road before it will be 100% success, if it will ever be a 100% success.
Cloning can either be illegal or accepted (of course). The most illegal form is I think reproductive cloning, making humans and animals perfectly identical. But it may be the most useful type of cloning, preventing endangered species to go extinct, and many other reasons can be thought of.
Food in 2059
In 50 years food will change rapidly, using new invented microwaves and new compounds to establish ingredients for food, it will be going through a big change, many new different products and agricultural technologies, plants and crops will be genetic engineered, changing it’s DNA to improve the qualities of the plant.
I think, that between now and 50 years, technology could be able to remove lots of fats in the same food, for example, snacks with lots of fat will then become, almost 0% fat snacks even though the taste stays the same. People tend to dislike the food when it hasn’t got a lot of fat in it. Also, it the technology could make it able that the sustainability of food will be indefinite at room temperature; which means high-quality and healthy food.
Probably also new inventions will be made. Think about a high-tech microwave which makes sure that the food will be ready in just 5 seconds. Special grains may be made by means of genetic manipulation and they may be used to attract water very easily, that decays the number of water used to water the agricultural fields et cetera. Many products will be harvested in a low time, and maybe even in extreme conditions like deserts, which may solve a lot of third-world countries from their low food-levels.
Robots may take over the jobs of chefs (more info over robots in another topic), the number of restaurants could decrease because people can make their own deluxe chef meals using ‘super’ microwave and ovens.
Food in 50 years shall be different from the food which we know and love to eat nowadays, but I’m sure that some people still like to cook their own way, on an ‘old-fashioned’ stove of the year 2008.
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