Do you or a family member have a disease? An injury? A lifelong condition? Chances are that somewhere in the world, a team of dedicated medical researcher is working hard to find ways to treat you and improve your health. Often, this requires looking at your illness or injury in a new way. In the Archive, you can find many examples of how medical researchers are finding innovative ways to make your life better, from an improved tool for monitoring glucose levels in diabetic patients to finding a new use for an ancient material.
How would you like to have to stab your finger five or six times a day, every day of your life, in order to get a drop of your own blood? People with diabetes do that to check their glucose levels … and it’s no fun. But now scientists are developing other, less painful, tools for patients. One of them is a glucose monitoring “tattoo”. You can read more about it here: “Honey, I Shrunk the Sensor”
People getting chemotherapy for cancer know only too well that the powerful drugs they take to kill the cancer also attack the healthy cells in their bodies. Killing off healthy cells can cause a whole range of bad side effects from hair loss to heart damage. Many scientists are working hard to create chemo drugs that target only the cancer cells. “Bullseye – Making Drugs Hit Their Targets” explains one researcher’s approach. Another story, “The Medicine of the Future – Controlled-Release Systems” looks at a different avenue to delivering medicine only where it’s needed.
Since 3000 BCE, silk has been woven to create a range of luxurious items from robes to tapestries. But did you know that silk can also have modern medical applications? From suturing, drug storage, tissue scaffolds, artificial tendons, and more, these two articles describe novel uses of this ancient material: “Silk of the Future” and “Smooth as Silk.”
Resources throughout the Archive can introduce you to some of the wonders of modern research. What are your favorites?