The world has seen extraordinary advances in sciences in the last decade. Biotechnology has been at the frontline of modern healthcare technology developments. If you haven’t heard, biotech is best described as the use of a biomolecular process to develop products and technology in the hopes of improving our health and lives. We all likely use a product that has been bioengineered in our daily lives. Do you use a medication to treat an ailment? How about a household cleaner? Many of them are made with biotechnology. Even the water we drink and the food we eat fall under this category. There are so many aspects to biotech that it involves us all in one way or another. 2018 has brought about some tremendous changes in biotechnology that could change the world as we know it. Below are some of the most exciting recent advances.
Smarter biosensors could prevent the spread of HIV
Biosensors are devices that use living organisms to detect the presence of a chemical and transmit information about a life process. One exciting new development in biosensors could prove very valuable in stopping the spread of HIV. Researchers at the Spanish National Research Council have developed a biosensor that can detect Type 1 HIV during just the first week following infection. The early detection of HIV is not only important for the infected persons health, but for the prevention of HIV transmission.
New breakthroughs for Autism Treatment
It was recently reported that Roche, a Swiss healthcare company, was awarded breakthrough therapy designation for a drug that has shown signs of activity in autism. Autism Spectrum Disorder currently has no approved drugs for its symptoms, which can include social interaction and repetitive behavior. Balovaptan blocks activity of the V1a Vasopressin receptor and is currently in Phase 2 testing.
Gene Editing for Hemophilia
Since it’s discovery in 2012, gene editing tool CRISPR has shown promise towards gene editing and the curing of genetic disease. Gene therapy has frustrated scientists with one unresolved issue: Replacing a “bad” gene with a healthy gene is usually a short-lived solution. Healthy gene replacement usually only lasts a few weeks. Recently, scientists at Washington University of Medicine were able to combine CRISPR with a deactivated virus. They were able to successfully deliver healthy genes to a precise location in mice. The most promising part of the study is that the properly activated gene stayed activated for six months. This could be a major breakthrough for the treatment of hemophilia. Those affected by hemophilia often lack a specific gene that promotes blood clotting.
Biotechnology is important in its implication for our future health and the future of our medical care. Today’s advances should bring drastic improvements through genetic engineering, earlier diagnosis, and intervention. If you are a leader in Biotech and are interested in being featured on our site, Modern Business would love to hear from you.