Recent Medical Breakthroughs That Will Make You Feel Better About The World!


What new medical device fits within a contact
lens? What does Pokemon Go have to do with surgery? Find out as we take a look at Recent Medical
Breakthroughs That Will Make You Feel Better About The World. #13 Migraine Shot
Migraines are a widespread problem with more than twelve percent of American households
suffering from the affliction. This pain goes beyond the standard headache
with throbbing, intense pain often paired with bouts of nausea and even a sensitivity
to sound and light. Luckily, a new treatment called Aimovig was
recently approved by the FDA. It can be administered as a shot and was shown
to lower the frequency of migraines in subjects during clinical trials. #12 Smart Contacts
The debate between wearing glasses or contact lenses typically comes down to personal fashion
preference. But a new development in contacts technology
may lead some poor-sighted patients to opt for lenses…especially if they have diabetes. Researchers with South Korea’s Ulsan National
Institute of Science and Technology have crafted a special lens capable of detecting glucose
levels in the wearers blood. This breakthrough was announced first in an
early 2018 edition of the Science Advances journal and is now bound for human testing
as scientists hope to perfect the process. Alphabet Inc., the corporation behind Google,
halted their Verily organization’s research into a similar project due to difficulty. At this time, some scientists don’t believe
the process to ever be accurate enough because of a discrepancy in tear and blood sugar levels,
though only time will tell how this technology evolves. #11 Liquid Biopsies
Testing for cancerous tumors is classically not an easy task and the biopsies employed
often use uncomfortable, invasive techniques to take solid DNA samples. A recent discovery from the US National Centre
of Biotechnology Information found that many of these tests can be circumvented entirely
thanks to what they refer to as liquid biopsies, or blood tests to be blunt. By examining the blood, researchers can detect
cell-less tumor DNA that circulates in the bloodstream at a frequency of 100 to 1 for
every tumor cell in a patient’s body. In addition to being a more physically accommodating
testing method, these liquid biopsies will also ideally cost a fraction of other types
of biopsies. This would make them much easier to get done,
and on a regular basis as well, giving doctors a greater chance of catching cancer early
on. #10 Heart in the Box
Transporting organs can be a tricky process and in the past, organs meant for transplantation
would be packed in saline and ice to keep them fresh for surgery. But this process risked injury too often and
as a result, a new process was necessary. And the University of Minnesota might have
the answer. The TransMedics Organ Care System, or OCS,
is a device that connects to a donor’s heart and keeps the donor’s blood pumping until
operation. This allows the blood to stay warm, oxygenated
and filled with nutrients while keeping the heart fresh. Injury is greatly reduced with the delivery
of oxygen from the healthily pumped heart. With this device, surgeons hope to be able
to complete many more heart transplants without incident. #9 Fishy Burn Treatment
Finding cures and procedures to treat previously irreparable conditions are certainly important
breakthroughs, but for many countries, the true societal improvement comes in the form
of finding a cheaper means to perform existing treatments. Researchers in Brazil have done just that
by finding alternative means for covering the skin of burn victims for proper recovery. Without a proper sheath, scorched skin can
become infected and patients may not survive the experience. Human skin, pig skin, and synthetic, lab-grown
skin are common coverings used in countries like the US. But these Brazilian researchers stumbled across
a game-changing option in sterilized tilapia scales! The fish scales contain a type of collagen
protein that promotes healing, reduces scarring, retains moisture, sticks to the skin, reduces
pain, and even increases healing time. In addition to being a cost-effective option
for developing countries, the effectiveness of this natural burn treatment is truly a
miraculous discovery! #8 Male Birth Control
The role of contraception in society is about to be flipped on its head as researchers at
the University of Washington recently announced the completion of a successful trial for male
birth control pills. This new medication works much like birth
control for women in that it combines testosterone or another male hormone to progestin, a pregnancy
hormone. The result is a halt in sperm production and
a reduction in testosterone. But also like the female equivalent, male
birth control pills come with some side effects. In addition to the changes to the reproductive
system, the patient in question experienced a sudden weight gain and a negative drop in
his cholesterol. Clinical trials are still being executed and
other alternative methods, including a topical gel that uses similar components, show potential
for further progress. #7 Unlikely Treatment
Known for its psychedelic effects and popular abuse in the 1970s, ketamine has long endured
a bad rap. Thanks to new findings in relation to two
common ailments, however, it may be time for its heroic comeback. With modular doses, researchers have found
that ketamine can be an effective treatment for both depression and Parkinson’s disease! Ketamine acts as an anaesthetic and can be
dangerous if taken in high volume, but when regulated, it combats one of the main side
effects of the top Parkinson’s medication. Levodopa causes involuntary movements in patients
while combating the disease, but ketamine’s effects limit uncontrollable jerking and tremors. For depression, ketamine offers a swift answer
with faster-acting effects than the majority of antidepressants, sometimes shifting moods
for the better within minutes! And for those dealing with treatment-resistant
depression, that quick efficiency can be the difference between a short breakdown and an
unfortunate fatality. #6 A Fix For The Blind
A process that allows geneticists to reverse the effects of inherited sight degradation
was approved by the FDA at the tailend of 2017. Called Luxturna, this gene therapy requires
the direct application of genes to a patient’s eye. These genes are not naturally produced by
people suffering from retinal dystrophy or Leber congenital amaurosis, two conditions
progressively cause blindness. Thanks to a harmless, repurposed virus, the
DNA enters the eye cells and re-programs them by way of infection. The strange process doesn’t completely reverse
blindness, yet, but it does allow for some improvements. Patients utilizing this treatment are able
to discern light and shapes, which is a major advancement from nothing at all! The earlier they treat afflicted patients,
the better. One patient, America’s Got Talent contestant
Christian Guardino, received the gene therapy at age 13 and told reporters that prior to
the treatment he was unable to even see a full moon, but now he can clearly see the
stars above. #5 Quadriplegic Implants
The spinal cord is a vital instrument in communicating commands from the brain to the rest of the
body and damage to it has been known to cause partial or total paralysis. The ability to perform such simple tasks as
reach and grasp a cup or spoon is taken for granted by most, but these actions actually
rely on complex messages that require some sort of means to transmit them. Those unable to move from the neck down due
to paralysis are medically referred to as quadriplegic, and for decades this condition
was considered irreversible. Progress in neural research has recently reversed
this belief, though, as one patient was able to move their arms after eight years of paralysis! Thanks to electrode implants, called BrainGate2,
embedded in his brain and arm muscles, the patient was able to think about doing something
and actually succeeded in performing it. #4 DNA Modification
Since the release of Jurassic Park to the silver screen in 1993, the public at large
has long wondered what kinds of devastating effects would arise from the ability to rewrite
DNA. Rather than recreate monstrous extinct species,
modern scientists have fortunately chosen to use this power to tackle health issues
instead. One recent procedure proved the potential
benefit of modifying DNA in patients when the Children’s Hospital at Germany’s Ruhr
University decided to attempt a new treatment for a young Syrian boy with a genetic disease. Junctional epidermolysis bullosa left the
boy with paper-thin skin, an affliction caused by a hiccup in his genetic code. Scientists and surgeons removed a sample of
the boys skin and genetically altered it before grafting it back onto his skin. After several processes and two years, the
doctors had succeeded in providing the boy with all new, healthy skin! #3 3D Visuals and Augmented Reality
With the advent of applications like the popular Pokemon Go using Augmented Reality and recent
advancements in 3D technology in gaming, it was only a matter of time until we saw these
innovations make their way into the medical industry. And thanks to researchers at Duke University,
that time is getting closer. A pair of neurosurgery residents at the university
have developed a pair of goggles they call HoloLens meant for assisting in surgery. The goggles augment the reality for users
to place 3D images on the patients they operate on, giving sight to surgeons of the regions
of the body hidden beneath the skin. Rather than relying on organic indicators
and static scans for determining the precision of their operations, surgeons will now be
able to visualize the depth of a needle or the proximity of a tool to vital organs. #2 Cancer Vaccine
In early 2018, Stanford University revealed an all new vaccine that had showed incredible
progress in eliminating tumors from mice. This apparent cancer vaccine was injected
directly into solid tumors in mice and the immune-stimulating agents were able to eradicate
any traces of cancer in the animals. Of the 90 mice tested, 87 mice were cured
outright. The remaining three would see the cancer recur,
but further injections were able to regress the illness. While the treatment is referred to as a vaccine,
one important detail of note is the fact that cancer vaccines are meant to prevent the return
of cancerous cells and destroy existing ones. This is different than introducing cancer
into the system to build an immunity — the process by which most vaccines work. #1 Face Transplants
The 1997 film Face/Off is no longer the stuff of fiction as just last year, France’s Jerome
Hamon was the first person in history to receive two successful face transplants. The patient suffers from a genetic disorder
that caused disfiguring tumors to cover his face. Originally receiving a face transplant in
2010, Hamon’s body began rejecting the foreign face six years later. By the time he received his second successful
face transplant, he had reached a stage where he lived two months without any face at all! Which of these medical breakthroughs are you
most excited to see made available to the public? Let us know in the comments below!