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2015's Top Science and Health Trends

2015's Top Science and Health Trends

One area that is closely related to our health is science. As scientific technology advances, researchers make new discoveries and our health changes for the better. In 2015, certain trends will make a huge impact on the way we live and influence the decisions we make about our health. Following are seven of those health and science trends for 2015.

Young Blood

Researchers at the Stanford University of Medicine have discovered that injecting blood from younger mice into older mice restores the mental capabilities of the older animals. They also found that the "young blood" restored functions of other organs, including the liver, heart, and brain. Since this successful study, researchers have focused on other applications. They hope to learn what this could mean for humans, including finding ways to reverse age-related impairments and treat dementia conditions such as Alzheimer's.

 

Next Generation DNA Sequencing

DNA sequencing is the ability to find a single gene within the vast quantity of DNA that makes up the human genome. In 1990, the Human Genome Project began with the goal to develop better tools to make DNA sequencing faster and less expensive. Since then, newer technology has enabled scientists to sequence DNA for less money and in smaller laboratories. BecauseDNA sequencing can also be done more rapidly, researchers and physicians can use it to diagnose sickness in life-threatening situations.

 

Understanding the Brain

Researchers are making great strides when it comes to understanding the most complex organ in the human body—the brain. In 2015, thanks to technological advances, researchers and scientists can use long-term implants as a way to watch the brain circuit's activity patterns. Gaining understanding of the brain could allow amputees to control their artificial limbs using signals from their own brain, for example. It also increases the chances of finding effective treatment options for movement disorders such as Parkinson's, a disease that affects one million Americans.

 

Telemedicine Apps

Most doctors no longer make house calls, but a telemedicine app might offer a welcome alternative. Telemedicine apps make it possible to:

  • Contact a board-certified doctor 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • Send a text, video or photo that illustrates symptoms directly to your doctor
  • Engage in a back-and-forth discussion with a physician about treatments

If getting to the doctor in person is not possible, telemedicine apps offer a safe alternative for these and many other types of scenarios. Telemedicine apps take advantage of the computing power of powerful smartphones like the iPhone 6. With the iPhone's strong processor and 720p HD FaceTime video calling, it is easier than ever to use these telemedicine apps to contact physicians that can help you with your health needs. 

 

Smart Clothing

Some proponents say that smart clothing is the hottest trend of 2015. In fact, smart clothing, which had close to nonexistent sales in the previous year, could see more than 10 million dollars in sales in 2015. This new technology embeds electronics into clothing, allowing the wearer to collect information about their body. For instance, smart shirts with sensors closer to the skin collect more information than smart watches, which were a trend in 2014.

 

Medical TriCorders 

The once science fictional devices are now becoming a reality. The small, round device can record the user's heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, oxygen levels and even a complete electrocardiogram in a matter of seconds. While the device has yet to meet FDA approval, it has the potential to significantly reduce the number of tests a patient must undergo, saving them both time and money. It could also help reduce a shortage of 2.3 million healthcare workers across 57 different countries.

 

Food Scanners

Handheld food scanners might just be the wave of the future when it comes to analyzing what's in the food you're eating. The scanner analyzes the molecular make-up of the food, then breaks down its nutritional value. Early models can only analyze about one tenth of the food the user is scanning and cannot detect anything in the food with concentrations of less than one percent.

It's true that not everyone will benefit from these health and science trends of 2015 in the present. However, as research in these seven areas continue, they give hope for a better, healthier life.

 

 

Image via Flickr by Intel Free Press

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