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Medical The limit of medication.

  1. Jan 22, 2012 #1
    It is interesting how we associate medicine and the treatment of diseases with medication. If you ask someone about the cure of cancer, the first thing that comes in mind is a magic pill. But is not this the wrong approach? If you think about it, remedies are just chemical compounds that flow through your blood causing several effects. They'll will never do anything more significant than binding to receptors and letting the body do the work. If we want to do more advanced things it is necessary that we develop the tools to act on cellular scale, and we have almost nothing on this aspect. I feel like the field of medicine will only start to get serious after this.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 22, 2012 #2


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    FYI No biomedical researcher or doctor talks about magic pills for cancer and chemicals do more than just bind to receptors; they generally work by adjusting metabolic pathways of the patient or an infecting organism in desirable ways (which can include via receptors)

    Traditionally medicines have been just a cocktail of chemicals (this is ignoring medical devices, surgery, cell therapy etc) albiet often rationally designed with engineered pharmacokinetics but there is a series of huge paradigm shifts occurring at the moment that promise to make future treatments far more effective and diverse. A variety of different approaches are getting closer to fruition such as phage, gene and antisense therapy. As well as this regenerative medicine as a discipline offers to change the approach to medicine by utilising a wide range of advanced therapies to restore a patient's body to original form and function via tissue engineering, biomaterials and nanomedicine. The latter example offers greatly improved control of cell behaviour through increased specificity and reactivity.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  4. Jan 25, 2012 #3
    Pills have a long history in medicine. I would not be surprised, if, one day, pills become obsolete technology. Still, the science is developing, and with technologies such as genetic engineering, we can reasonably expect major advances in the future.
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