MEDICAL RESEARCH

Huge resources are poured each year into studying diseases and finding new treatments. Some of the main focuses of research today are new drugs (including drugs to treat cancer and heart disease), improved artificial parts, the production of new vaccines, and the role of genes in disease. Another growing area is stem cell research. Stem cells are body cells from which all other types of cells form. Potentially, they could be laboratory-grown into a variety of human tissues, for use in body repair.

NANOTECHNOLOGY IN MEDICINE

One day, it may be possible to introduce tiny robots, called nanorobots, into the body to carry out treatment missions. Medical treatments are just one possible application of the futuristic area of research known as nanotechnology.

BIONICS

An artificial hand works by means of sensors that can detect signals in the wearer’s forearm muscles. A built-in microprocessor analyses the signals and orders the mechanical parts of the hand to open or close. A challenge in producing devices such as theseF is to get living tissue and nonliving material to work together. One focus is to find better ways of passing signals between human nerves and electronic devices.

COMPUTER-AIDED DRUG DESIGN

Modern researchers often use computers to help design new medicines. For example, a scientist can use a computer model of a drug molecule and study how it interacts with a model of a target site in the body. The researcher can then make improvements to the molecule, allowing a virtual drug to be developed on computer before it is made and tested for real.

Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Healthy Smile Checklist for Kids
Have better dental check-ups with this free printable checklist that helps keep your child flossing, brushing, and smiling! Brought to you by Philips Sonicare.

Kindergarten Readiness App
It's kindergarten registration time! Use this interactive kindergarten readiness checklist, complete with fun games and activities, to practice the essential skills your child needs for this next big step. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top 10 Earth Day Books for Children
Celebrate the environment by reading some of these great children's books about Earth Day, recycling, planting trees, and all things green!

Prom Dress Trends for 2014
Check out 2014 prom dress trends inspired by celebrities’ red carpet looks, but with a price tag under $100!