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Progress in medicine in 2018 can save your life



This year was very promising for medicine: it was achieved from the turning of blindness and paralysis, to progress in areas such as the fight against cancer and the treatment of infertility.

BBC Mundo presents some of the medical goals that have been achieved in 2018 and will be developed in 2019.

1. Back to the walk

Two groups of scientists helped paralyzed people walk again, stimulating the spinal cord with electrical impulses.

Injuries of the spinal cord – the result of a car or sport accident – prevents the brain from getting to the muscle and this leads to paralysis.

But thanks to some electrical implants In the spinal cord, lost signals can reach their destination.

These techniques are still experimental, but in one case the patient uses the device in everyday life.

In the second case, there is evidence that damaged nerves in the spinal cord began regenerate.

2 – Fighting cancer

Judy Perkins survived her terminal cancer thanks to pioneering therapy.

Perkins had tumors of tennis ball size in the liver and secondary cancer throughout the body. Doctors gave him three months of life, while doctors at the National Cancer Institute in the United States did not decide to try with a new "living drugs".

Your tumor has been genetically analyzed to identify certain changes that could make it visible to your immune system.

Of the 62 found genetic anomalies, only four offered potential lines of attack.

And so did the search.

The patient's immune system attacks the tumor, but the white blood cells eventually end up in the fight against cancer.

What scientists did was to examine Perkins' white blood cells and remove those capable of attacking cancer.

Then they were raised in large quantities in the laboratory and injected them into their bodies (close to 90,000 million), together with remedies for the removal of brakes on the immune system.

This new procedure of immunotherapy has led to the remission of Perkins cancer.

Another work in the field of cancer immunotherapy was won by the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

3 – New womb, new baby

For the first time, a healthy baby was born from a dead woman's transplanted womb.

Previous attempts failed, and many thought it was impossible.

Mother, a 32-year-old woman, was born without a womb due to the Maier-Rokitanski-Kuster-Hauser syndrome, a disease that does not cause the vagina, the uterus, or the uterus to form properly.

The donor had three children and died of stroke.

The procedure was conducted in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Six weeks after the incorporation of the uterus, the patient began to receive that period.

Seven months later, fertilized eggs were implanted afterwards normal pregnancy, the girl was born with caesarean section of approximately 2.5 kilograms.

4 – The first babies that are genetically regulated (probably)

A scientist in China has provoked the greatest excitement in science in years when he claimed to have created the first genetically-engineered babies in the world.

Apparently, the twins are of good health.

Embryos are obtained by treatment assisted fertilization.

Investigator: He Jiankui claims he changed the DNA of the baby to protect them from HIV.

However, process details were not published, with which his statements must be taken with skepticism.

His statement provoked a profound ethical debate about whether the procedure should have been carried out or not.

5 – See again

Scientists have made remarkable progression to cure the world's leading cause of blindness: macular degeneration associated with age, it is also called maculopathy.

Makula is a part of the eye that allows us to see what is in front of us, whether it's about recognizing a person, watching TV or reading a book.

It is composed of cones and rods that perceive light. Behind them is a layer of nourishing cells.

When this layer collapses, there is macular degeneration and blindness.

Scientists have discovered how to form a layer of supporting cells and incorporate them as a plaster over the injured layer.

Patients undergoing this treatment they regained the central vision not just for reading, but also for looking at faces that were previously blurred.

6 – Laboratory ovules

A team from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, developed, for the first time, human ovules in the laboratory.

Women are born with immature eggs in ovaries that develop completely after puberty.

After decades of work, you can now develop them ovules to maturity outside the ovary.

This requires a rigorous control of laboratory conditions, including levels of oxygen, growth hormone and proteins, as well as the medium in which these eggs grow.

The technique can be used to develop new ways preserving the fertility of girls who are treated with cancer.

It is also an opportunity to explore ovules, whose development process still has many issues that science has not responded to.

7 – A cancer test?

Scientists have made an important step towards one of the main goals of medicine: the development of a universal blood test for cancer detection.

A team from John Hopkins University, in the United States, did a test with the method it reveals eight common forms of illness.

Tumors release small traces of their mutated DNA and proteins that form in the bloodstream.

Test CancerSeek looks for mutations in 16 genes that usually occur in cancer and 8 proteins that are usually released from the disease.

The test was tested on more than 1,000 patients with ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreatic, esophagus, colon, lung and breast cancer who did not spread to other tissues.

The test has turned out effective in70% of cancer.

8 – Microbes, the hidden half of our body

The enormous importance of microbes for our health is an issue that is still under investigation.

This year, the most common cancer in children is attributed to our modern-day life without a call.

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia affects one in 2,000 children.

Mel Greaves, a professor at the UK Institute of Cancer Research, has compiled 30 years of evidence showing this the immune system can become cancerous if it does not "see" enough microbes from the first stages of life.

The aim of this study is not to blame parents for being excessively clean, but to show the price of advances in society and medicine in things such as, for example, drinking water.

The long-term goal is to provide a safe beverage drink to children – in yogurt – so that the immune system can train.



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