Article Image
News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

The Year in Biomedicine


Stem cells

In October, 12 years after human embryonic stem cells were first isolated, a therapy derived from such cells was tested in humans for the first time (First Human Tests of Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy Underway). The therapy, developed by Geron, is designed to treat spinal-cord injury with an injection of differentiated neural cells into the injury site.


This year, 10 years after the completion of the Human Genome Project, genome sequencing finally made its way into the practice of medicine. James Lupski, a physician-scientist who suffers from a neurological disorder called Charcot-Marie-Tooth, found the source of his disease after a 25-year search by sequencing his entire genome. (A Family Mystery, Solved by a Genome) Lupski's research was the first to show how whole-genome sequencing can be used to identify the genetic cause of an individual's disease

Brain Control

Optogenetics—the use of light to control genetically modified neurons—has rapidly become one of the hottest fields in neuroscience. Optogenetic technology is now in use in hundreds of labs across the globe, helping scientists gain insight into the brain. While the bulk of the research is focused in basic science, a handful of projects published this year point the way toward clinical applications. Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College, in New York, developed a more accurate prosthetic retina for blind mice that had been genetically engineered to express a light-sensitive protein in certain retinal cells. (Now I See You) Gene therapy might one day make the same possible for humans.


Join us on our Social Networks:


Share this page with your friends on your favorite social network:

Free Talk Live