21st century medicine : sky news.
About this work
A survey of promising medical research which may lead to the treatment of hitherto untreatable conditions, to faster diagnosis and increased lifespan. An electric implant inthe spine has already enabled a paralysed woman to regainsome leg movement; stem cell implant experiments with rats point to successful stroke treatment; improved keyhole surgery could mean quicker operations, subjecting the patient to less anaesthetic; a prototype infra-redbody scanner (inspired by 'Startrek') may lead to quicker diagnosis of cancer; and a machine for diagnosis of illness by smell could reduce queues of samples for pathology lab tests. In Part 2 of the programme Dr. John Sulston of the Sanger Centre, Cambridge, where the human genome is being sequenced, discusses the prospects for genetic diagnosisand therapy. Mount Vernon Hospital's trials of a new cancer treatment, combatostatyn, derived from the African bush willow, give rise to hopes that a new drug may be on the way; the action of the latest influenza treatment, Relenza, is explained; and the programme concludes with a survey of the factors involved in increasing the human life span.