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Heading for 2050.

The Future in a Nutshell

Marian-Laureniu VASILCA 27/11/2012

The Future of Medicine Introduction This report aims to present a perspective on the future of the human race. We all know that people are dying every day under unknown circumstances. Undoubtedly, at some time in the Earths future, scientists will discover new cures for diseases that now decimate a large number of people. We need this to happen faster so that we and our descendants could live longer and healthier lives. The Connection between Past and Future Since the beginning of mankind, people have tried to survive and live a healthy life. For that reason, a new science was born, Medicine. Medicine evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness in human beings. Unfortunately, this evolution came with a price. Many lives have been lost because doctors couldnt find a cure on the spot for some illnesses. For example, in the 1500s and earlier, the flu killed lots of people, but now its an insignificant problem for us. Likewise, other diseases that were incurable a few centuries ago are in present days cured easily with drugs. Hopefully, the history will repeat and in 2050 the medical technology will find treatment for cancer, HIV and other problems for humans health. Viruses and their Evolution Like medicine, viruses are evolving too. More powerful drugs are created every year because viruses are getting stronger and stronger day by day. For example, there are many types of flu and each one of them needs a different treatment. We can remember that viruses like H5N1 and H1N1 evolved and caused a lot of panic, fear and deaths in 2003 and 2009. On October 10, 2011 the WHO announced a total of 566 confirmed human cases which resulted in the deaths of 332 people since 2003. In spite of that, in a few months, doctors and scientists found ways to save lives and secure our health. Hopefully, when other viruses will become stronger and threaten our lives, doctors will have the technology and ideas to find simple and secure ways to maintain those menaces under control. Surgical Robots In today's operating rooms, you'll find two or three surgeons, an anesthesiologist and several nurses, all needed for even the simplest of surgeries. Most surgeries require nearly a dozen people in the room. As with all automation, surgical robots will eventually eliminate the need for some personnel. Taking a glimpse into the future, surgery may require only one surgeon, an anesthesiologist and one or two nurses. In

this nearly empty operating room, the doctor sits at a computer console, either in or outside the operating room, using the surgical robot to accomplish what it once took a crowd of people to perform. The use of a computer console to perform operations from a distance opens up the idea of telesurgery, which would involve a doctor performing delicate surgery miles away from the patient. If the doctor doesn't have to stand over the patient to perform the surgery, and can control the robotic arms from a computer station just a few feet away from the patient, the next step would be performing surgery from locations that are even farther away. If it were possible to use the computer console to move the robotic arms in real-time, then it would be possible for a doctor in California to operate on a patient in London. A major obstacle in telesurgery has been latency -- the time delay between the doctor moving his or her hands to the robotic arms responding to those movements. Currently, the doctor must be in the room with the patient for robotic systems to react instantly to the doctor's hand movements, but the future looks bright. The Future of Cloning Twenty years ago the term cloning was only used in sci-fi movies or books, but now, in 2012 this idea doesnt seem that impossible. In 1996, Dolly the Sheep was born. She was cloned at the Roslin Institute in Scotland and lived there from her birth in 1996 until her death in 2003 when she was six. The fact that a big animal like a sheep could be cloned gives us hope for human cloning. Human cloning is the creation of a genetically identical copy of an existing or previously existing human. Right now, scientists are searching for new technologies to make human cloning possible and safe and by 2050 it will be a fact. Organ-on-a-Chip An organ-on-a-chip is a microchip that stimulates the activities, mechanics and physiological response of entire organs or organ systems. Organs that have been simulated by microfluidic devices include the heart, the lung, kidney, artery, bone, cartilage, skin and many more. These devices save many lives, but for now they are too expensive and not all the people in need can afford them. Undoubtedly, these microchips will improve in many ways the lifespan. Conclusion Even though medicine is quite advanced these days, there is much room for improvement. Given the past experiences we can state without any trace of doubt that solutions for advancement will be found.