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Preventing Disease: Using Technology in Biology

written by: MandaSpring•edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski•updated: 11/25/2008

Preventing disease is a huge step in saving lives and cutting down the costs of treatments, over all care and cures. Learn how technology in biology is helping experts in disease prevention.

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    From gene mapping to nano technology, the prevention of diseases is becoming more of a possibility. With preventative measures being taken quickly enough our life spans and productive years can be greatly increased. As a society we can live longer and enjoy good health in ways never before imagined!!

    The Importance of Disease Prevention

    Suppose we could identify what causes cancer, Alzheimers, arthritis and neuromuscular diseases before the patient has the first symptom? We could stop deadly and disabling diseases in their tracks and make them a thing of the past. That technology is rapidly becoming a reality!

    GE Healthcare recently invested $160 million to continue development of molecular imaging technology. After acquiring CTI Molecular Imaging Siemens Medical Solutions and created a Molecular Imaging Division. The goal was to pursue new biomarkers improving hybrid imaging as well as preclinical systems. Philips Medical Systems is still working on PET and SPECT innovations. They plan to continue working with Theseus and KEREOS (the pharmaceutical companies) toward the new research and development of new camera designs for molecular imaging. This new technological advance should make diagnosis and treatment more likely for millions of patients.

    Technology in Biology

    By combining advanced technology with pharmaceutical improvements, researchers believe they can make the diagnosis process even better. Imagine being able to discover the genetic markers for cancer in a patient and being able to alter the genetic code before the disease strikes! The possibilities are endless for finding the problems and curing them before they have a chance to become actual diseases!

    Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis and Bristol-Myers Squibb are among the pharmaceutical companies ready to mix their new drug developments with imaging to come up with new treatments and cures.

    Says Dr. Michael Phelps, Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, UCLA, “In front of you is a little chip about 2 cm that looks like an integrated circuit, but is not. The size of the channels is about 30 to 40 microns. It has analysis aids, nanotech tools, chemistry labs to build and modify molecules, and it has a library to store molecules. Molecular imaging could be the partner to examine the molecular mechanisms of the biology of disease."

    Conclusion

    With cooperation from pharmaceutical companies, imaging researchers and even the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), a combination of all the different technologies can make the medical advancements multiply. These entities working together for quicker diagnoses and more effective treatments could be the best thing to happen to modern medicine since the Saulk Vaccine! Improving the quality of life and longevity is the goal of research scientists, both in the field of biology and technology. Between imaging breakthroughs, nano-technology and new wonder drugs designed to stop the growth of tumors before the old diagnostic methods could even find the tumors, modern medicine could be centuries ahead in a matter of just a few years.

    Resources:

    http://new.reillycomm.com/imaging/article_detail.php?id=33

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080818101333.htm

    http://www.physorg.com/news138437560.html