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Amanda L. Goltz, Vice President, Digital Innovation, BTG
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Biotechnologies and Medical Breakthroughs in 2019
The advancement in biotechnology is bringing a revolution in the medical industry. The discoveries in molecular biology, genomics, cellular and tissue engineering, innovative drug discovery and delivery techniques offer the promise of improving healthcare by improving the diagnostics capabilities and therapeutic options
Gene drives used in the wild: Gene drives are the DNA code that helps a gene transfer from parent to a child with almost 100 percent perfect probability. Gene drive can be used to change the genetic makeup of an entire population. Scientists have deployed the idea in mosquitoes that carry gene drives for infertility. This can wipe out an entire population that carries infectious epidemic as malaria, dengue, or Zika.
Flu Vaccine: Scientists developed a universal flu vaccine that targets all strains. These vaccines alert immune systems to parts of a flu virus that is least variable from strain to strain. Flu vaccines have been proven safe and effective in small numbers and now being tested in a broader population. The vaccines don’t rely on dead viruses rather it uses a small chain of amino acids.
Cancer Spit Test: Researchers have designed a device by utilizing Artificial Intelligence technology that detects oral cancer from a single drop of saliva. Proteins in the cancer cells react with dyes in the sensors and emit fluorescent light that can be detected with a microscope. Scientists say that the same principle can be applied to make saliva-based diagnostics for many diseases.
Check out: Top Biotech Startup Companies
Neuralink and Brain-Machine Interfaces: Neuralink is tiny implanted particles into the brain that link up biological wetware with silicon hardware and internet. Advanced biotech companies seek to develop brain-machine interfaces that can tinker with neural circuits to treat diseases and enhance abilities.
Nerve Regenerator: Because of the scar tissue gets in the way nerve, fibers cannot grow along injured spinal cords. A nano-gel is developed that eliminates the impediment. The nanogel is injected as a liquid. It self-assembles into a scaffold of nanofibers. Peptides expressed in the fibers instruct stem cells to produce cells that encourage nerve development.