Scientific discoveries are one of the most popular topics discussed worldwide. Every year people are waiting for the emergence of new technologies that would simplify the life of mankind. From genome editing to quantum modeling, new scientific technologies are giving rise to many areas of life. We will talk about the most famous of them in this article. And you can learn about innovations in the field of entertainment using the Avalon78 login.
Fully decoded genome
Approximately one-tenth of the human genome was not studied until, in 2019, genomics researchers Karen Miga at the University of California at Santa Cruz and Adam Phillippi at the National Human Genome Research Institute in Bethesda formed the Telomere-Telomere Consortium. Their research has helped answer many questions about the human genome, and now there are no unknown gaps in this issue. In May 2022, the first end-to-end sequencing of the human genome took place. There is a widely used consensus sequence of the human genome, to which scientists have added about 200 million new pairs. Now the topic of the human genome is gaining popularity every year and is increasingly being studied by scientists around the world.
Today, many patients suffer from misdiagnosis or late detection of a disease associated with abnormalities in the DNA structure.
Standard genetic tests, such as single gene analysis, multi-gene panels, or microarray analysis, often cannot fully identify the exact cause of the disease due to their limitations.
Recent advances in molecular genetics have made it possible to create a new method of genetic testing affordable and fast – whole genome sequencing.
Whole genome sequencing can detect almost all changes in a patient’s DNA by deciphering the sequence of all coding and non-coding regions. The result of such a study is information about thousands of genes involved in an organism’s average growth and development.
This method successfully replaces all previously known forms of genetic testing, combining their capabilities. Every year it allows you to establish an accurate diagnosis of an increasing number of diseases.
Using whole genome sequencing, the attending physician receives help not only in diagnosis but also makes more accurate treatment decisions, can monitor the course of the disease, and makes a forecast of the development of the illness and recovery. Precise recommendations about disease progression are also possible in some cases.
Based on the test results, the risk of hereditary diseases for other family members can be assessed.
Whole sequencing can be performed at the direction of the attending physician, as well as at the request of the patient, without urgent medical indications.
The structure of the genome does not change throughout life. Having done the analysis once, its results can be used for a lifetime. They can be re-applied when discoveries in genetics appear and, taking into account new knowledge, more accurately interpret the data.
Targeted Gene Therapy
Many people know that nucleic acid preparations affect clinical practice. However, despite this, they are still not fully understood and are severely limited in terms of the tissues in which they can be applied. Most treatments require either a topical application or ex vivo manipulation of cells taken from the patient and then transplanted back. An important exception to the rule is one human organ – the liver. The liver can independently filter the blood flow and, therefore, serve as a transporter for selective drug delivery. In this case, intravenous or subcutaneous administration of the drug helps to achieve a result.
Adeno-associated viruses are often used in gene therapy trials. Animal experiments have shown that a carefully selected, correct virus, combined with tissue-specific gene promoters, can quickly and efficiently deliver drugs to specific organs. However, sometimes viruses cannot be produced on a large scale and cause immune responses that reduce the effectiveness or cause side effects.
Pig heart transplant to a human
On January 11, the successful transplantation of the heart of a genetically modified pig into a human was announced. It was the only chance to survive for the 57-year-old American. Patient David Bennet suffered from end-stage heart disease – without a transplant, he would have died imminently. The transplant demonstrated for the first time that a genetically modified animal heart could function like a human heart without immediate rejection by the body.
Unfortunately, on March 8, the person who received the heart transplant died. Perhaps a swine herpetic infection is to blame, which was not paid attention to during the operation preparation. However, another step has been taken to save the lives of people around the world. In the United States alone, about 100,000 people are waiting for organ transplants, and 17 patients die daily due to a lack of them.
Flight of the SLS rocket and the Orion spacecraft
On November 16, the most powerful rocket in history, the Space Launch System, was launched from Cape Canaveral. The task of the 100-meter rocket was to send a capsule intended for humans toward the moon. This has not happened since the Apollo project ended in 1972. The Artemis I mission is a test of the technology, so in this case, there was no crew on board, but Artemis II, which is expected to fly in 2024, will carry astronauts. Artemis III is already planning a moon landing.
The Orion spacecraft, having separated from the rocket, described the trajectory of figure eight around the Moon and the Earth. The natural satellite went around twice on December 11 and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean. All phases of the mission were considered highly successful.
The project aims to create a long-term base on the moon and then send a person to Mars. Humanity continues to strive into space and explore other planets.
Elon Musk’s neurochip
On December 1, Elon Musk held a presentation where a video was shown of a monkey typing “give me more goodies” on a computer with the power of thought. Neuralink, owned by a businessman, plans to begin human trials soon. 2022 has been a prosperous year for neuro implant-related advances. We chose Elon Musk’s presentation as a symbol of this trend because of their vast media presence of this person – it was his arrival in this field of research that pushed it to rapid development and increased investment.
Many research centers have been successfully testing neuro implants in humans for quite a long time. Only this year: a paralyzed man spoke more than 1,000 words with the help of an implant in his brain, robotic arms connected to the brain allowed the paralyzed man to eat on his own, and for the first time in Russia, a monkey was implanted with a neural implant to restore vision, a neural implant allowed the paralyzed person to walk, etc.
Cancer vaccine clinical trials
In 2022, several successful cancer vaccine trials were announced at once. In this case, the word “vaccine” is relatively conditional; it is more often about medicines and not preventive measures. However, the mechanism of investigational drugs is primarily based on the development of the patient’s immunity to kill cancer cells.
For example, in December, Moderna announced the preliminary results of the second phase of clinical trials of an RNA vaccine against melanoma. A study with 150 sick volunteers shows that the new drug increases the chances of curing aggressive skin cancer by almost 50%.
Also in December, the Research Center for Therapy and Preventive Medicine of the Russian Ministry of Health shared the successful results of human breast cancer vaccine trials. Scientists from the University of Washington have also completed the first phase of vaccine testing for this type of cancer. Scientists from N. N. Petrov National Medical Research Center of Oncology (St. Petersburg) also received a patent for a vaccine of their design; they have already successfully carried out experimental treatment of more than 800 people in the terminal stages of the disease. Researchers at King’s College London have completed phase 3 human trials of a brain cancer vaccine.