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Biomedical and social contributions to sustainability.

TitleBiomedical and social contributions to sustainability.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsWilmut I, Wongtawan T, Quigley M, Sullivan G
JournalPhilos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci
Volume369
Issue1942
Pagination1730-47
Date Published2011 May 13
ISSN1364-503X
KeywordsAnti-Bacterial Agents, Asepsis, Conservation of Natural Resources, Drug Discovery, Genetic Diseases, Inborn, Genetic Therapy, Health Promotion, Humans, Immunization Programs, Infection Control, Public Health, Social Environment, Stem Cells
Abstract

Over the past two or three centuries, biomedical advances have provided methods to prevent and treat infectious diseases. These changes have greatly reduced human suffering and enhanced sustainability by allowing people to live longer and healthier lives. The challenge for the coming centuries will be to ensure that these longer, healthier lives are also more productive lives. We must build on the gains of the past by translating new discoveries in regenerative medicine into therapies for degenerative and genetic diseases. Stem cells may be used to identify drugs that prevent the development of symptoms or to replace cells that have either died or lost their physiological function. In the case of genetic diseases, it may be possible to correct the genetic error. While most conditions that might be treated in these ways are common to all communities, some are more prevalent in specific races. Provision of these and other benefits depends not only on attainment of the research objectives, but also upon our ability to make treatment opportunities available throughout both developed and developing communities. The long history of researching and treating infectious diseases shows that it may take many decades to reap the full benefit of the new biological understanding.

DOI10.1098/rsta.2010.0370
Alternate JournalPhilos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci
PubMed ID21464068