Identification of genetic mutations has led to the development of effective drugs.
"Precision medicine" is allowing us to analyse a person's genetic makeup and target treatments based on their specific needs.
More knowledge about your genetic makeup enables you to make better-informed choices – but at what cost?
It's exciting to think we're on the brink of a genomic revolution in health care. But just because new technology becomes available, it doesn't mean it should automatically be publicly funded.
Scientists discovered some bacteria can cut the DNA of invading viruses as a defence mechanism. They realised they could use this to cut human DNA.
CRISPR harnesses the natural defence mechanisms of some bacteria to cut human DNA strands. Then the DNA strand either heals itself or we inject new DNA to mend the gap. This is gene editing.
In 2030, some diseases are defined more specifically than in the past with a focus on their molecular makeup. This is known as precision medicine.
In 2030, there is a boom in precision medicine, where diseases – from cancer to dementia – are defined and targeted more specifically with a focus on their molecular makeup.
Though not this obvious from the outside, plants are keeping time.
Precisely calibrated timekeepers are found in organisms from all domains of life. Biologists are studying how they influence plant/pathogen interactions – what they learn could lead to human medicines.
If we could test the genome of all Australians we could better target preventive health campaigns.
If you could take a test that would reveal the diseases you and your family might be more likely to get, would you want to do it?
Precision medicine matches patients with interventions, rather than just matching treatments to illnesses.
People with the same condition can respond differently to the same treatment. This is why personalised treatment is so important in all fields of medicine, including psychology.
If you were destined for dementia in your 60s, but there was nothing you could do about it, would you want to know?
A test of all your genes for disease risk is not yet the precision diagnostic and treatment tool we hope it will one day be.
A tumor under the microscope.
Cropped from cnicholsonpath/flickr
Cancer researchers dream of offering personalized treatments to patients. Can they get there using the same math that drives Netflix recommendations?
Cancer precision targeting at the Systems Biology and Cancer Metabolism Laboratory. Credit: Systems Biology and Cancer Metabolism Laboratory.
Fabian V. Filipp
A field called epigenomics looks at chemical modifications that do not change our DNA sequence but can affect gene activity. What are the limitations, and can biomedicine use this to our advantage?
Tools of diabetes treatment almost always include improved diet and regular exercise.
Diabetes, which afflicts 29 million people in the U.S., remains a difficult disease to treat. Read how an algorithm devised by MIT researchers could help.
What could genomic medicine do in the future?
DNA gel image via www.shutterstock.com.
Although genomics research has the potential to revolutionize medicine, it has limitations. It may not do much to prevent many of the leading causes of death.
Blood is drawn from an unidentified patient during a routine exam Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016 at a Boston area medical clinic.
AP Photo/Dwayne Desaulniers
New regulations for research with human blood and tissue try to balance scientific progress with patient privacy.
President Barack Obama signs the 21st Century Cures Act on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, in Washington.
Kevin Wolf/AP Images for Parker Foundation
Lowering the threshold for FDA approval and feeding the agency less rigorous information will increase the likelihood of approvals of unsafe or ineffective drugs and devices.
Obama annually welcomed students to the White House with their Science Fair projects.
AP Photo/Susan Walsh
The outgoing president leaves behind some solid accomplishments in the world of science, tech and medicine. But the biggest departure from his predecessors might have been in his approach.
A mother holds the foot of her premature baby. Prematurity is the most common cause of neonatal death globally.
In developed countries, the main causes of preterm deaths are well known and studied.But in low resource countries, the causes are much less understood.
Precision public health can make a huge difference to people across Africa.
Albert González Farran, UNAMID
Precision public health has the potential to transform the global health sphere by ensuring that the right interventions are brought to the right people in the right places.
DNA image via www.shutterstock.com.
We should heed concerns about how private genetic data banks are used and accessed before we enable a system where the future of public genetic research lies in private hands.
Would you donate to a biobank?
How much privacy are we willing to give up in the name of cutting-edge science? And do we care about the kinds of research that will be done with our donations?
Our knowledge of diseases is growing exponentially, but turning knowledge into cures is proving to be a tricky business.