In the last decade, scientists have mapped the human genome, begun to unlock the secrets of stem cells and made strides in battling diseases with treatments that were the stuff of science fiction not long ago.
What about the decade to come?
"The current state of medicine is too 'one-size-fits-all,' " said William Moffitt, chief executive officer of the Northbrook- based biotechnology company Nanosphere Inc. "The future of medicine is to treat diseases on an individualized level, to personalize the treatment," Moffitt said.
That's the sphere of nanotechnology, the science of engineering applications at the molecular level. "Nanotechnology will start from the other end of the spectrum, because if you want to treat a disease on the genetic or molecular level, you need tools that are small and precise enough to do that for you."
Exactly. And we're getting closer to sophisticated nanotech tools with every passing day.
The 10 medical breakthroughs forecasted by this article:
- Heart disease
- Avian flue
- Mental disease
- Alzheimer's disease
- Laser technology (for accurately diagnosing and destroying tumors)
- Pregnancy screening
- Public health