Future of Medicine

Pages: 136-199
The purpose of medicine has always been to attain extended youth, even in the times of the gods. It has been said that an immortal Greek goddess, Eos, once fell in love with a mortal man. Eos then begged her father, Zeus, to grant her lover immortality. After receiving the ability to cheat death her husband lived eternally with her though, as years went by he became older and older without keeping his youth. Eos had not only condemned her husband to eternal life, but also eternal pain and suffering. The problem scientists are facing today is similar to that of Eos, eternal life is attainable, but eternal youth is still to be discovered. Many of the medical advancements Kaku discusses in his book, Physics of the Future, will enable humans to live a longer and healthier life. With the help of new cures, treatments, and technology, humans may even be able to acquire the one power that has always been beyond our grasp: eternal life.


Essential Themes

In each chapter of Physics of the Future, Michio Kaku introduces many different ideas. As a group, you will select three ideas from the chapter you are responsible for that interest you the most. This could be because some of you have a personal connection to the idea, question the idea, or are intrigued by the idea. Compare and contrast the three ideas. Be sure to include individuals and events that are involved in the ideas.

This should be completed in paragraph form and be roughly 350 words for each idea. Please make headings for each idea and work with your partners to incorporate multimedia (no more than 1 video), graphics (no more than 3) and other items with this. Your explanation should be understandable by an average middle schooler or higher.

Coexisting with Cancer

Before genetic engineering, the causes of cancer were a mystery. Scientists have realized that cancer is a disease of our genes. Whether it is caused by chemical exposure, a virus, or radiation, cancer fundamentally involves mutations in four or more of our genes, in which a normal cell "forgets how to die". (Kaku, 2011) There at least two types of cancer genes, oncogenes and tumor suppressors. Programs like the Cancer Genome Project plan to sequence the genes of most cancers and there are more than 100. Although there is still much to learn, most cancers are connected to a damaged gene, p53. Gene therapy experiments are being conveyed to be able to put a healthy p53 gene into cancer patients. The process of gene therapy is slow but steady. It is unlikely that we will find a "magic bullet", or one specific cure, for cancer, instead scientists are working to cure it one step at a time. As Nobel laureate David Baltimore says, "Cancer is an army of cells that fights our therapies in ways that I'm sure will keep us continually in the battle." New treatments and therapies will also continually enter the market, all of them designed to hit cancer at its molecular and genetic roots.

Genomic Medicine

Over the course of history there have been hundreds of different theories on how and why the human body operates as it does. Up until the recent past, nobody has truly understood the story of the humans. Scientists have dug deep into our roots and discovered that it is our genetics which determine who we are. In 1989, scientists from around the world merged to form the Human Genome Project. Their mission was to unravel the secrets of the human body and finally be able to read the "book of life", by analyzing every gene of the human body. Fourteen years and three billion dollars later, the organization had sequenced all 25,000 of the human genes. However, even though their goal had been met, the group did not stop there. They began work on the Human Genome. This personalized list of one's genes is an advancement that Kaku predicts will become very useful in the near future.
By 2100, it is believed that almost everyone will have their genomes available on a CD-ROM for their use. The genome tells us what genetic diseases we are at risk for and also enables us to trace our very distant ancestors. This idea may sound insane, but Genomes are already being used today (but only by a small percentage of the population). The reason it is not more widespread is due to the cost. Creating a Genome used to be a very tedious, time consuming process, but now that scientists have started to use machines to sequence the genes, we will be able to produce Genomes at a much more rapid pace. These complex machines will decrease not only the production time, but the cost of the Genomes as well. Soon scientists will also have machines that can locate the source of genetic disease through the comparison of genomes of people with the same disease. Once the damaged genes are pinpointed, the discoveries will be taken into a whole new realm of science: gene therapy. Doctors will insert a healthy version of the damaged gene into a vector and then release it into the patient. The healthy gene will then replace the damaged one, curing the disease. Scientists have already had many successful trials with gene therapy. Right now they are working to stop side effects and curing the more complex genetic diseases. It is predicted that we will be able to cure almost all genetic problems via gene therapy by 2100. The Human Genome and gene therapy will be to very influential tool in the future medical field and together they will form a very powerful team. With their abilities to locate and cure genetic disease, these advancements will save thousands of lives.

3D Organ Printing

3D organ printing is going to become major advancement in the future medical fields. Labs in California have already begun "growing" lungs and other organs which have given hope to hundreds of people in need of an organ. Scientists have also started to "recycle" pieces of lungs to be used for others. By recycle we mean that scientists have taken pieces of an organ, a lung per-say, from two different people and created a fully functioning organ. Developments for implanting have already began, there are already seven completely man-made thyroids in use today, and research has begun on making different organs.
Organ printing is an important advancement because scientists believe we are one day going to be able to produce any necessary organ you need, due to any disease. Patients will no longer have to wait on an organ transplant and the printer may help people live longer because they do not have to receive transplants from other people, as well as the fact that organ conditions are one of the leading causes of death. Transplanting an organ in today's world is a very risky and dangerous operation. In the future there will be no consequences to replacing an organ, 3D printing will use human stem cells to create a genetically sound organ just for patients. These methods are being used now, in fact, they have printed an ear. Though the longer they work with the printer the better it will get. Anyone looking to get involved in the science of organ printing may have to complete more years of schooling, as well as gain specific organ knowledge. This will create more jobs for people. Forget having transplants in the future because we will have organ printing available. Organ printing is going to have a large impact and be a very beneficial tool in the future.

external image bioprinter_500x360.jpg

This is an example of what a 3D organ printer may look like in 2100.

"ExplainingTheFuture.com : Bioprinting." ExplainingTheFuture.com : Bioprinting. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2014. <http://www.explainingthefuture.com/bioprinting.html>.

Predicted Impact

Analyze the predicted impact on the economic, social, and political landscape if your three selected trends were to happen as you predict. Work with your team to cast a vision for what this would look like in the world. (Use the discussion tabs and commenting to facilitate discussions or speak to your teachers about direct contact with the other students if that will help.) This will form the basis of your movie creations so use your imagination but base it in fact and research from the book and beyond.


Coexisting with Cancer
Every year more than 4 billion dollars are spent on cancer research and treatment, yet even after all this, more than 1,000 people die of cancer everyday. The cure of cancer would cause major economic impacts across the board; doctors, pharmacists, cancer organizations, and researchers will all be effected. The decrease in necessity for and cure research may take away jobs for some scientists, doctors, and pharmacists, because patients will no longer have to spend excessive amounts of money on treatments. The breakthrough of a cure would open up a whole new branch of medical occupations. This branch would supply many people with well-paying jobs. Cancer has also been a major charity focus in the past 30 years. If scientists develop a cure for cancer, the money that is currently being used for research can be put towards other important issues. We will have more money for medical research and for other means of improving life in around world.

Genomic Medicine
The inevitable and majorly influential changes in genomic medicine are bound to come at a cost. The price of the Human Genome Project has already well exceeded 3 million dollars, and the amount is predicted to rise, though the eventual breakthrough is expected to pay for itself. Doctors, physicians, pharmacists, and gene therapists are some of the multiple occupations that will benefit through the extended development of genomic medicine. Through the expanse of human genome research, millions are destined to be able to have their genes read by scientists to predict and act on genetic diseases. These demands will create many jobs specifying in genomic medicine. The increase in knowledge on genomic diseases will influence the amount of money spent on medication and treatments. People may no longer have to go through procedures to remove, per-say, a tumor because when a gene sequence is read scientists are predicted to be able to know what kinds of diseases you may encounter and will be able to remove prematurely hazardous cells. The development of knowledge of the human genome has proved to be very economically influential to doctors and patients alike.

3D Organ Printing
The ultimate goal of bioprinting is to create implantable organs that will address the growing gap between viable organ supply and demand for transplants. Scientists started making tissues by hand about 25 years ago, but now scientists can put the information into a computer to build the tissue. Scientists will not be losing their jobs from the new printing process, because we will still need them to improve the printing process and to feed the information into the computer in order to build the organs. The hope is that as the technologies continue to develop, the manufacturing of organs could help solve the problem of rapidly growing transplant wait-lists. 3D organ printing is becoming economically feasible. Organ printing is becoming a very useful tool. Compared to current organ transplanting, this technique will save many more lives and at a much more rapid pace. In the future there will be no consequences to replacing an organ, there will be no risk of your body rejecting the transplant. Although it may be expensive to produce and implant these organs, almost all people involved in organ printing would eventually benefit from the process. Doctors, scientists, and other experts in the medical field will be positively impacted by the science of 3D organ printing. Patients may not appreciate the cost of printing and implanting an organ, but there will be more gain than loss via the operation.


Coexisting with Cancer
In the next 100 years, Dr. Kaku predicts that cures for pre-existing cancer may be attainable, but a magic bullet for the disease is unlikely. The real questions are who will be able to afford it? Will it be accessible to everyone? If we find the cure for cancer there will be less and less people that will be dying, but what is that going to do to our If you end up getting the cure for cancer and you retire at 55 years of age, the retirement money will run out. If this was to happen the retirement age would have to be raised to a higher age. Another , would everyone be able to afford the cures or treatments? It is estimated that if a cancer is found by 2100 it will be of a very high demand and the quantity of the cure will be very small in the beginning, so it will be more expensive. So at first there may not be many people that are able to purchase the cure. So the cure would not be affordable, and/or accessible to everyone, and the retirement age would have to go up or the United States would go deeper into debt. Although once the production process is accelerated more people will have the opportunity to be cured. So the cure would not be affordable, and/or accessible to everyone, and the retirement age would have to go up or the United States would go deeper into debt. The cure for cancer will be a huge achievement and blessing, but is it going to hurt us in the long run?

Genomic Medicine
What rights will the government have once the genomic field of medicine is developed? One huge problem that we may face is that the government could decide to make the genes to where we will not have any mental handicap humans. In the future, we will be able to make our own humans because of genomic medicine. Many humans will despise the fact that the government will be able to control your personal life. If two humans were together and wanted to have children, could the government tell you that you could not have children because it is proven that the child will suffer from fatal diseases? It is not right for the government to be able to tell you whether you can have children or not. Having mentally retarded humans is natural and many people will be losing their jobs if we do not have them to teach and work with. Politically, we have many factors to face with the genomic medicine production.

3D Organ Printing
The impact of 3D organ printing on our political world will be large, and possibly controversial. Citizens from countries across the globe may stipulate against the use of unnatural organs in humans, even though they will be eventually be life improving developments. These people are actually incorrect with their assumptions of unnatural organs, while an organ is printed their own genes are b used to create a genetically sound organ for your body. Another possibility for 3D organ printing in the political world is an influential topic as a basis for a campaign for candidates running for some type of government office. Throughout history candidates have used cutting edge ideas, similar to organ printing, as their way to draw in attention from citizens. Some parties will be for the development of this new form of medicine while some will not. The advancements being made in organ printing will be majorly influential in the political world.


Coexisting with Cancer
Each year globally, about 14 million people learn they have cancer and 8 million people die from the disease. If the expectations for a cure for cancer are reached by 2100, the world will be impacted socially and many lives will be saved. Overall, changes for the better will happen, but many people may doubt the technology. This questioning attitude can be described by the caveman principle, which states the when given the choice between High Tech and High Touch all humans will choose High Touch, because it is human nature. High Touch is face to face interaction and High Tech has to deal with using technology in the place of a human being. Although High Touch will always be preferable in our society, High Tech is evolving very rapidly and is predicted to become an even larger part of our world. As cures for cancer are being developed through High Tech, the world may begin to trust and rely more on new technologies. By using High Tech to distribute and produce cancer cures, we will be able to save people at a faster rate and may even began to alter the Caveman Principle as we know it. If we are to find a cure for cancer in the next one-hundred years almost everyone would benefit; millions of lives would be saved, thousands of families will be restored, and billions of people would be saved from the horrible grief of losing a loved one to cancer.

Genomic Medicine
Though genomic medicine will undoubtedly become a life-saving branch of medicine in the future, there are possible social implications that have experts worried. Once we able to manipulate our genes for curing diseases, some scientists fear that people will take this new technology too far. Will certain people genetically enhance, or even perfect, themselves and their offspring? Parents may feel the need to give their child an advantage by granting them the perfect body and enhanced abilities and through gene therapy they may be able to fulfill these wishes. Before the fetus is even born, parents may be able to genetically alter their growing child. Although only a small amount of the population would be genetically enhanced, those people may be socially distinguished in a negative aspect. The misuse of gene therapy would impact our society in countless ways, effecting not only the social aspect of life but also politically and economically.

3D Organ Printing
Organ Printing will provide us with many sociological advantages in the future. Similarly to the other medical tools we have mentioned, 3D organ printing is destined to save thousands of lives. Everyday people in need of an organ transplant die, but in the future there will be no need to depend on a donor for an organ. Organ transplants will be quick and without consequences, because the organs being implanted into your body are made specially from your own DNA, therefore nearly eliminating the risk of rejection. 3D printing will also make life much easier and more enjoyable for a range of people. Children born without limbs, soldiers injured in battle, and anyone missing body parts will have the opportunity to regrow their lost limbs with the technologies we are predicted to have. Those people will no longer feel held back by their limitations and can perhaps become more involved in activities they were never able to participate in. Through the science of 3D organ printing humans will have the ability to restore their damaged body parts to health, allowing them to lead happier and healthier lives.

Essential Terminology

As you read the chapter, you are responsible to select 5 words that you'd consider important vocabulary for understanding the chapter. These words should be either words you do not already know the definition to or words you don't use on a regular basis. For each word complete the following. Each student must include 5 vocabulary words and draft the meaning and use it in a sentence but all students should work together to come to a final agreement on the word's meaning and sentences. The sentences should show an understanding of the word's meaning and be related to the topic. Use the comment feature for this.

Vector (page 153)

usually a harmless virus
Sentence: A vector is a result from a healthy version of a gene.

Nanoparticles (page 157)

"smart bombs" directed at cancer cells
Sentence: It is promised that nanoparticles will be able to help cancer patients in the future.

Stem cells (page 146)

"mother of all cells" and have the ability to change into any type of cell of the body
Sentence: In the future, stem cells are going to become art of our every day lives.

Biotechnology (page 140)

The exploitation of biological processes for industrial and other purposes.
Sentence: Biotechnology will soon become major in our future's industry.

Antiangiogenesis (page 157)

choking off the blood supply of a tumor so that it never grows
Sentence: Antiangiogenesis is a promised treatment and therapy that will eventually because able to hit cancer and genetic roots.

Human genome (page 159)

the complete set of genetic or humans
Sentence:Human genome is made up of small DNA molecules.

Germ theory (page 121)

states that many diseases are caused by the presence and actions of specific micro-organisms within the body.
Sentence: Before the germ theory was found the life expectancy was not as high as it is today.

Molecular medicine (page 121)

a broad field, where physical, chemical, biological and medical techniques are used to describe molecular structures and mechanisms, identify fundamental molecular and genetic errors of disease, and to develop molecular interventions to correct them; perspective emphasizes cellular and molecular phenomena and interventions rather than the previous conceptual and observational focus on patients and their organs
Sentence: Molecular medicine will soon be trying to find errors of disease and to correct interventions.

Genomic Medicine (page 122)

is the specialty of medicine that involves the diagnosis and management of hereditary disorder.
Sentence: Genomic medicine can help people with any kind of disorder.

Bioinformatics (page 124)

an interdisciplinary scientific field that develops methods for retrieving, organizing and analyzing biological data.
Sentence: Bioinformatics are involved in some of the most smartest computers in the world.

Metabolism (Page 174)

Metabolism is the bodies process of dealing with the food you eat.
Sentence: People with a faster metabolism burn calories and produce energy for their body at a quicker pace.

Anomaly (Page 174)

An abnormal exception or difference
Sentence: Cancer is the result of a genetic anomaly.

Resveratrol (Page 172)

a compound found is certain plants, works as an anti-inflamatory and provides antioxidants
Sentence: After my knee surgery, I took medicine with resveratrol in it to help with the swelling.

Proliferate (Page 148)

to grow rapidly through the multiplication of parts
Sentence: After having a very successful basketball season, the amount of players who wanted to try out for the team seemed to proliferate.

Tumor Suppressor (Page 156)

genes that regulate the growth of cells, when damaged it can allow tumors to form
Sentence: There are two

Genome (page 135)

the haploid set of chromosomes in a gamete or microorganism, or in each cell of a multicellular organism.
Sentence: In biology the genome of an organism is its whole hereditary information and is encoded in the DNA.

DNA (page 125)

deoxyribonucleic acid, a self-replicating material present in nearly all living organisms as the main constituent of chromosomes. It is the carrier of
Sentence: Your body is made up of DNA.

Cloning (page 36)

to produce a copy or imitation of.
Sentence: Over the next few weeks we will look at cloning in biology.

Gene Therapy (page 36)

the transplantation of normal genes into cells in place of missing or defective ones in order to correct genetic disorders.
Sentence: Gene therapy has not advance in the spectacular ways that were promised.

Cancer (page 133)

the disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body.
Sentence: Cancer is one of the leading death causing diseases.

P53 (Page 154)

A protein inside the body used to help prevent diseases like cancer by stabilizing the gene from mutation.
Sentence: Due to her lack of P53 she had a high chance of being diagnosed with cancer.

Team Members

Put your username or first name only and your school below. If your team designated you with a specific task like lead editor, copy editor, or another task that you want done on the page, please note that.

  • Lexie D. -Westwood Schools- Camilla, Georgia
  • Collier B.- Westwood Schools- Camilla, Georgia
  • Morgan G. -Westwood Schools- Camilla, Georgia
  • Laurel B - Bettendorf Schools- Bettendorf, Iowa
  • Emma A- Bettendorf Schools- Bettendorf, Iowa


Insert your references below using the footnote feature on the wiki. This should be included for any direct quotations or citations of studies. Remember that you should ALSO use a hyperlink in the sentence for the appropriate word.

  1. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0inilUp_UNQ
    nce here.