Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Stem cell research and genetic engineering, the future for our next generation

Conquering the space and time or space time has been a dream for human kind for very long time. But now it seems like we are reaching the frontiers of new start, the conquest of space and travel to find the dark matter and dark energy and maybe, who knows, get the answer for the question WHO ARE WE?. We have achieved a lot during past years and what we really needed was a time to make it happen. Some people even speculated that our technologies are developed up to its highest potential. Of course this is true when we are still in the process of depleting our 100 years old energy sources, oil and gas, coal and limited amount of renewables. Anyway, this is not the concern for current topic and let us concentrate on "time" we needed to make our dreams come true.

A human life, or even the life of entire civilization is as short as a blink of an eye when it is compared to or brought upto so called space measures. So that, a blink of an eye long civilization obviously can not afford to conquer the greater space. It needs to buy some time to do so.

Stem cells and new level of regeneration
A new advancements in biotechnology called "stem cell research" initiated back from 1960's and suddenly caught attention in late 90's might make this all possible. Stem cell is found in all mammals and characterized by the three basic properties. 1. They are capable of dividing themselves for very long time or infinitely. 2. They are not specialized in their function and 3. They can give rise to specialized cell types. A recent finding has showed that stem cell can be used to treat many different previously incurable diseases. From Parkinson disease to some forms of cancers and even a mechanical injury to central nerve system can be curable using stem cells. As these cells can grow into any types of cells in human body, we would be able to rehabilitate ourselves fully in a few year ahead.

Genetic manipulation or so called genetic engineering
The Science has advanced so far that now we can manipulate our genes using specific types of viruses. Oops... Sounds spooky... But this is the reality and it seems like we are really succeeding in this.
The humankind has been searching for the potion against aging forever and now they are looking inside their bodies to find the solution. Recent studies have shown that genes could be hiding the answers from us. It is not a secret that specific types of genes regulate aging process and conclusion has been made that these same genes give an "order" to the body to start aging at certain age. Is it because the body has already passed active reproductive period and no longer needed? We don't know.

If we champion the stem cell research and genetic engineering, most probable result is our extended life. I can't say we will live forever, but obviously our life span will be extended for another century making us possible to travel to distant galaxies and universe in search of "the answer".


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