Donald O,Malley, associate professor of biology at Northeastern University, discusses the latest trend in science and how everyone is keeping up with it. He begins by stating how a company named Ancestry DNA sold more than 1 million test kits to consumers to keep up with the latest trend. These test kits reveal the genetic print or gene sequences of an individual, but one that requires specialised knowledge and training in bioinformatics in order to interpret the results of the test. He believes that with the increasing demands of consumers, companies will definitely bring forth developments in this space to satisfy them. O’Malley predicts the importance of genomic information and its role in target treatment of some diseases. For example, a certain subset of breast cancer patients may benefit tremendously from one drug, which may be useless to someone with a different strain of the disease.
O’Malley mentions the cochlear implants which have been around since decades and the next steps into creating something which would benefit people suffering from macular degeneration which affects more than 11 million people in the United States or technology to create an interface with the optic nerve to replace a missing retina. Synthetic neuroscience is another emerging field. Last year, a paralysed person was able to control a prosthetic limb for the first time. An implant in the motor cortex of him brain enabled him to do so effortlessly. Synthetic neuroscience an upcoming trend in the medical field may be able to bring forward natural limb regeneration instead of creating a mere prosthetic. Although this seems like a far-off goal, the development to achieve this is following a path directly towards it. “If I lost an arm, we can build me a prosthesis, which is a pretty poor imitation.” O’Malley said. “How great would it be for me to regenerate?”