Human Biology Failure of biotechnology ?

Discussion in 'Human Biology' started by helenheaven, Nov 6, 2004.

  1. helenheaven

    helenheaven Premium Member

    The 'biotech revolution" acclaimed by scientists as the path to miracle cures, has failed to deliver genuine improvements, according to a new study.

    The study of the impact of biotechnology on medical treatments concludes that the claims surrounding gene therapy have been widely exaggerated and that it is an expensive myth.

    It has found that the investment has produced only handful of useful drugs in 20 years and despite a ten fold increase in research spending the total number of new drugs remains virtually unchanged.

    The study to be published in the journal "Trends in Biotechnology," adds that the evidence "provides no support" for the idea of a biotechnology revolution. It warns of a "substantial mismatch between the real world and the unrealistic expectations of policy-makers."

    The much vaunted gene therapy technique has yet to cure anyone with a major genetic disorder.

    Richard Ley, of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, conceded inflated claims had been made in the early days of biotechnology research.

    He said, however, that the research investment was now beginning to pay off with new therapies for ilnesses such as chronic myeloid leukamia.

    "The point is that it takes so long for new medicines to be developed, around 10-12 years, and the human genome was completed only 4-5 years ago."

    Personally, I wonder if the rapid rise of cancers and other diseases is due to the fact we are products of a species where it is not the survival of the fittest, as ill people have survived thru medical intervention...and gone on to breed. So we are not necessarily breeding out diseases as once we were.

    In NZ we have an incredibly high rate of breast cancer (1 woman in 10)...the sixth highest in the world...
  2. bodebliss

    bodebliss The Zoc-La of Kromm-B Premium Member

    Ok , you changed topics you went from failure of Biotechnology to strategies for healthier humans through natural selection to rising cancer cases in New Zealand!

    It took 2386 years from the discovery of electricity till Volta got the first steady flow of electricity. This is because it takes a pile of data and experiments before a science can consolidate a position and move on. This is what is going on now. Hopefully, it won't take 2386 years to make progress on biotechnology, but it will probably be longer than anyone likes.

    As far as breeding out disease goes, the species before #@!&% sapiens sapiens was #@!&% erectus scientist believed they had half the brain we do, they rarely lived longer than 20 and the woman were bearing children @ 6 years old. They are our direct ancestors and as such genetically speaking the 450,000 that separates us from them is a drop in a bucket. We share allot of their genetic pitfalls that is why we tend to grow to twenty and then slowly or quickly fall apart. It is going to take an overwhelming amount of research to overcome our vast ignorance about where we are, and then maybe we can move in a way that cures will come. We are at the rock bottom as far as how cells work in cohesive manner. In 1900, the whole history of the human race had come up with only one consistently effective drug: aspirin.

    I think people think ' Now ' I want it NOW. It just don't work that way. The way it works is: massive experimental data = progress potential and sometimes a miraculous mistake( like penicillin). If you want immediate action go to a fast food resturant.

    Bode Bliss
  3. It does take time. We also shouldnt forget that some of the most prolific inventions and discoveries take alot of money and time. Look at the rapid develpoment of the home computer. From rooms to hold a minute power computer to the size of a mother board today. Even goes as far as saying 10 years ago we would have cable internet which is just an old network technolgy from the old days of computers. We evolve is my point. I hope the study continues but not at a cost of human life. :bouncy:
  4. DeusEx

    DeusEx Member

    If you want progress, you have to give people what they need. Things like money and materials. One of the biggest things required for the advance of biotech is stem cells. But, due to religious zealotry and ethical restraints stem cells are in short supply.

  5. bodebliss

    bodebliss The Zoc-La of Kromm-B Premium Member

    actually computers in concept sprung from a much older technology of the 1800's : The cubby-hole roll top desk, in it's time, it was state of the art.

    They used recombinant DNA in china during the sars outbreak with disastrous effects. Deaths have already occurred should we stop now. Many more deaths will occur. Should we go back to trhe cave then.

    Stem cells is only one tech. There is also nano-bio, small molecule molecular-biology, protein folding simulation, x-ray chromatography, etc.
  6. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

    You have to think where we were 30 yrs ago to now. Biotech is still in infancy stage and trying to work its way to progressing. Like siad in earlier post, time, money are the issues at hand now. The problem with society is all they see is tax dollars going to research and nothing coming out the other end. The "NOW" affect is what is crimping and putting deadlines on research that just isnt ready.

    Not to mention, as it was said ethical issues. That part that impedes on research is a double sided sword. And you also have to think where the world was 30-50 yrs ago, as far as health concerns. We were in the dark ages to diseases and cures. Now we have technology, the intelligence that mind you rolls in all the time updating the previous data researched.

    Then there is lawsuits of ridiculous proportions, where peopel claim the drug made them worse, which also strips some of that money funded for research and puts holds on further research of present projects.

    Everyone wants a miracle drug that fixes everything, but they dont want to spend the money or pay the price for it. There is no miracle drug. I look at some of the stuff my parents take, a drug for this, a drug for that a drug for this and they are taken everyday, then, once the body immunes itself from the dosage, its upped. Personally, I dont want to be cramming all that crap into me. If people would just take better care of their bodies, and I know not everyone can, due to certain genetics, but do the best you can. Eat right, exercise, take vitamins or dietary supplements and give your body what it doesnt get, spend the money on that stuff, its alot cheaper than doctors visits and paying outrageous prices for drugs that are only temporary.

    And I have to mention this part, I think cloning, not humans or animals, but the cloning of organs and tissue should have been authorized, it will save lives and also help those who are on a waiting list for organ donors come off that lists. Thats just my 2 cents.

    Just give Biotech more time, dont shortchange it yet.