The tools and techniques of biotechnology have opened up new doors when it comes to researching and learning more about the human body and what goes wrong with it when problems arise. Due to being able to understand the molecular base of health and disease this has lead scientists to improved methods of treating and preventing those diseases.
Biotechnology has made a huge difference in human health care and has now enabled scientists to develop products which can give quicker and more accurate tests, therapies that have a lot less side effects and vaccines which are safer than ever before.
Diagnosing and biotechnology
Medical conditions and diseases are now being detected more accurately and quickly due to the advancement of biotechnology based tools, an example of the benefits biotechnology has brought us, and one which most people will be able to relate to, is the home pregnancy testing kit.
The new generation of home testing kits are able to provide results which are more accurate and are able to be used much earlier than the ones a few years ago.
Illnesses such as strep throat and other infectious diseases are now diagnosed within minutes enabling treatment to begin at a much earlier time where previous tests could take a few days.
Without biotechnology, a new simpler blood test couldn’t have been developed which allows us to measure the amount of “bad” cholesterol in the blood, before this conventional methods required separate blood tests which took longer to obtain the results and were much more costly.
Certain types of cancer such as ovarian and prostrate cancer now rely on biotechnology-based tests by taking a simple blood test and thus eliminating the need for expensive and invasive surgery.
We benefit because not only are the tests cheaper but they are a lot more accurate and quicker than any previous tests prior to the use of biotechnology, this allows Doctors to make a diagnosis earlier in the diseases progress and begin treatment of the disease quicker, which greatly increases the patients prognosis.
Prior to the use of biotechnology based tests diagnosis could only be made when the disease had progressed far enough to provide measurable indicators.
Researchers studying Proteomics have discovered that molecular markers can indicate the signs of disease even before visible changes to the cells or symptoms have appeared; soon in the very near future physicians will have access to tests which are able to detect biomarkers even before the disease begins.
This information of course is invaluable in treating and diagnosing hereditary diseases such as diabetes, cystic fibrosis and the early onset of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Previously all of these diseases were only diagnosed after the symptoms began to show, genetic tests would also be able to reveal and identify those people who could be prone to diseases such as cancers, asthma, osteoporosis, emphysema and type II diabetes.
Biotechnology based diagnostic tests are not only altering how quickly and easily we can detect disease but is also making improvements in the way health care is provided.
As many of the tests are now portable, with equipment being smaller, Doctors can literally conduct the tests, get the results and prescribe the appropriate treatment without even leaving the patients bedside.
Technically trained staff and expensive equipment are no longer needed to read the results from tests as now most rely on a simple colour change system, which is seen in the home pregnancy test.