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Analysis: Antibiotic apocalypse

Visions

A terrible future could be on the horizon, a future which rips one of the greatest tools of medicine out of the hands of doctors. It's a future without antibiotics.

Challenges

The World Health Organization has warned that "many common infections will no longer have a cure and, once again, could kill unabated".

Courting Wellness: Why Medicine Is Getting Healthier

After nearly a century of vilifying, discrediting and simply ignoring wellness, the medical community is at long last stepping outside the hallowed hallways of traditional medicine and embracing healthcare and healing strategies beyond the purely clinical. Contributing to this long overdue shift is a rising and unsustainable national healthcare tab -- $2.7 trillion (nearly 18 percent of America's GDP!).

Health 2050: The Realization of Personalized Medicine through Crowdsourcing, the Quantified Self, and the Participatory Biocitizen

The concepts of health and health care are moving towards the notion of personalized preventive health maintenance and away from an exclusive focus on the cure of disease. This is against the backdrop of contemporary public health challenges that include increasing costs, worsening outcomes, ‘diabesity’ epidemics, and anticipated physician shortages. Personalized preventive medicine could be critical to solving public health challenges at their causal root.

Nano Robots: Today & Tomorrow

Visions

Nano-robots will fight cancer and other diseases in the future

Key Transformative Forces

Nano-robots will have broader applications in the future

Challenges

There are some complications in integrating sensing and logical computing functions via complex nanostructures, given the nature of DNA.

Opportunities

Researchers are working on nano-robots around the world to design these tiny machines to implement in various industries.

How Nanorobots will Work

Visions

A practical and medical robot

Challenges

Today’s micro-robots are just prototypes that lack the ability to perform medical tasks.

Opportunities

'A potential future application of nano-robot technology is to re-engineer our bodies to become resistant to disease, increase our strength or even improve our intelligence.

Impacts

In the future, nano-robots could revolutionize medicine.

REGENERATE THE FUTURE

Europe is currently a world leader in the fundamental science underpinning regenerative medicine and cell therapy, and in its therapeutic use and regulation. Although this technology is still in its early stages, there is clear evidence of the transformational prospects it offers. To date, most evidence of the benefits comes from autologous treatments, in which cells or tissues are taken from a patient and processed in some way, before being administered back to the patient. These autologous treatments are delivered at hospital-scale, with local processing on site.

Future of nanomedicine

Kostas Kostarelos is Professor of Nanomedicine at the University of Manchester and an honorary Professor at UCL School of Pharmacy. He leads the Nanomedicine Lab, which he founded during faculty appointments at Cornell University Weill Medical College, Imperial College London and University College London. His research has raised more than £7million of direct grant funding for his Nanomedicine Lab during the last few years.
Prof. Kostarelos has been invited Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, Fellow of the Institute of Nanotechnology and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts all in the United Kingdom. In 2010 he was awarded the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Professorial Fellowship with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Tsukuba, Japan. He is the Founding and Senior Editor of the journal Nanomedicine and sits on the Editorial Board of The Journal of Liposome Research, The International Journal of Nanomedicine, Archives of Toxicology, Frontiers in Neuroengineering and 2D Materials.
The Nanomedicine Lab is investigating novel concepts in gene therapy of neurodegenerative disease, the clinical use of stem cells, advanced delivery systems for radio- and chemo-therapeutic agents against cancer and engineering combination vector systems for imaging and therapeutics.

Video abstract: 
  • Podcast 1 imagine the future of nanomedicine
  • Podcast 2 presents changes in medical practice and the potential use of graphene
  • Podcast 3 looks into the ethical implications of nanomedicine
  • Podcast 4 discusses the public understanding of science

To listen to this interview, please click on the podcasts on the right of this page. A synthesis report is also available for download below.

Leading Picture: 
Name Interviewee: 
Kostas Kostarelos
Foreword: 
In this interview, Prof. Kostas Kostarelos gives a snapshot of his vision on the future of nanomedicine and the possible use of graphene, a new and exciting nanomaterial that his lab will be researching. Kostas also discusses the general public’s fears of nanomedicine and ways to avoid this new moral panic, based on a need for better communication of scientific results to the public.
Interview Record: 
YouTUBE Screenshot: 
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The Future of Pharmaceuticals Could Be Electronic Implants

Visions:
British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) believes the next big wave in medicine will be electroceuticals, a buzzword the company has coined for a technology that would use electrical impulses—rather than the chemicals or biological molecules found in today’s pharmaceuticals—to treat diseases.

Challenges:
Achieving electroceuticals is a huge interdisciplinary challenge that will require people with deep expertise in electrical engineering, neural signal analysis and biological functions related to diseases.

Graphene may boost internet speed 100 times

o Key transformative forces
Researchers from the Universities of Bath and Exeter have demonstrated for the first time incredibly short optical response rates using graphene, which could pave the way for a revolution in telecommunications. Through this study physicists have observed the response rate of an optical switch using 'few layer graphene' to be around one hundred femtoseconds - nearly a hundred times quicker than current materials.

Telematics system for the intelligent transport and distribution of medicines

A growing demand for well-defined telematics systems in the intelligent transport distribution of pharmaceutical drugs is envisaged driven by legislative demands to enable the safe handling of medicines in automotive distributions. The provision is accomplished by providing virtual intelligence to vehicles designated for this form of smart freight transportation. The system provides anytime/anywhere assets tracking while on the move, from departure to destination, supporting reliable courier operation at low labour.

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