Yes chuckstonchew, medical science is now 'hit or miss', that is the main reason why the progress was so stagnant and disappointing in all fields of medical science (including scarless healing), but in the future medical science will be transformed into information technology, so as a result it will advance exponentially rather than linearly, humans and all other organisms are actually spiritual machines and our DNA is our 'software' which consists of 23,000 different 'programs' called genes, if you think about the future of medical science think about the possibility of 'reprogramming' that 'software', think about Moore's law and its implications in about 25 years from now, e.i. think about 'nanobots' - billions of cheap, tiny computers with the size of a blood cell in your bloodstream, and think about recent Nobel Prize laureates for medicine: 2006 - discovery of RNA interference and the possiblility of inhibition of certain genes, 2009 - discovery of telomeres and telomerase enzyme and their role in the process of aging, 2012 - discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells which are very similar to embryonic stem cells, think about perspectives of those and other breakthrough discoveries.
And Ray Kurzweil predicts that in about two decades from now doctors will have tools to actually cure all diseases as a result of that paradigm shift in medical science and you should know that many of his previous predictions from the book 'The Age of Intelligent Machines' (1990) and 'The Age of Spiritual Machines' (1999) were amazingly accurate.
Here you can read something about drug discovery procedures ('hit or miss' medicine):http://mavericksofth...ay-kurzweil-2-2
Now, this gets into my whole theory of information technology. Biology has become an information technology. It didn’t used to be. Biology used to be hit or miss. We’d just find something that happened to work. We didn’t really understand why it worked, and, invariably, these tools, these drugs, had side-effects. They were very crude tools. Drug development was called drug discovery, because we really weren’t able to reprogram biology. That is now changing. Our understanding of biology, and the ability to manipulate it, is becoming an information technology. We’re understanding the information processes that underlie disease processes, like atherosclerosis, and we’re gaining the tools to reprogram those processes.
Drug development is now entering an era of rational drug design, rather than drug discovery. The important point to realize is that the progress is exponential, not linear. Invariably people–including sophisticated people–do not take that into consideration, and it makes all the difference in the world. The mainstream skeptics declared the fifteen year genome project a failure after seven and half years because only one percent of the project was done. The skeptics said, I told you this wasn’t going to work–here you are halfway through the project and you’ve hardly done anything. But the progress was exponential, doubling every year, and the last seven doublings go from one percent to a hundred percent. So the project was done on time. It took fifteen years to sequence HIV. We sequenced the SARS virus in thirty-one days.
There are many other examples of that. We’ve gone from ten dollars to sequence one base pair in 1990 to a penny today. So in ten or fifteen years from now it’s going to be a very different landscape. We really will have very powerful interventions, in the form of rationally-designed drugs that can precisely reprogram our biochemistry. We can do it to a large extent today with supplements and nutrition, but it takes a more extensive effort. We’ll have much more powerful tools fifteen years from, so I want it to be in good shape at that time.
Here you can read something interesting about the future of regenerative medicine:http://singularity.o...ative-medicine/
Tech Summary: Regenerative Medicine
In June 2011, Dr. Paolo Macchiarini led a team of surgeons in removing Andemariam Teklesenbet Beyene’s windpipe, or trachea, replacing it with an entirely synthetic version. This surgery was the first successful transplant of a completely artificial organ into a human being – one of the many exciting accomplishments in the burgeoning field of regenerative medicine.
The goal of regenerative medicine is rather straightforward: to replace or regenerate human tissues and organs to restore normal function. It includes the regeneration of any part of the human body, from simpler tissues such as skin, to more complex organs like the heart or liver.
Alexander Seifalian, a materials science engineer at University College London, used three-dimensional images of Beyene’s own trachea to construct the physical scaffold of the windpipe. The scaffold was then brought to Macchiarini’s lab, where scientists coated the structure with Beyene’s own stem cells, a process called “seeding”. Next, the scientists let the cells grow and multiply in a bioreactor, an oven-like device that mimics conditions within the human body. It was then just a matter of performing the surgery itself. Beyene is now cancer-free, and on the road to recovery.
The current standard involves using donor organs to treat irrecoverable organ damage. Patients of these procedures must take a lifetime of drugs to weaken their own immune systems to prevent their body from rejecting the organs. The new procedure sidesteps these complications completely; because Beyene’s own stem cells were used to construct his new trachea, there was little risk of his body rejecting the organ. Beyene’s body accepted the synthetic trachea, avoiding the need for immunosuppressant drugs.
So it is now possible to make an entirely synthetic windpipe from recipient's own stem cells, patient doesn't need immunosuppressant drugs, I'm sure it was considered 'SF' and 'to good to be true' stuff five or ten years ago, now it is really possible! And maybe after the synthetic windpipe the next 'big thing' in regenerative medicine will be the dextran hydrogel e.i. scar free healing!? Well at least I hope it will be.
Edited by Vladislav, 22 November 2012 - 08:07 AM.