No Bloqueen Nuestro Futuro Médico

Estamos en la coyuntura entre la vieja medicina y la nueva, todavía enredados en las limitantes de la vieja pero ya capaces de vislumbrar en el horizonte algo totalmente distinto en su concepción. Esa nueva forma es tan nueva, tan revolucionaria, tan transformadora, que se merece el nombre que ha recibido. Estamos entrando al mundo de la medicina regenerativa. Nos volveremos a hacer, reconstruyendo y reemplazando las partes de nuestros cuerpos que nos hacen sufrir, las que se han enfermado, degenerado o dejado de funcionar.

La medicina del siglo XXI tendrá un nuevo paradigma conforme tornamos nuestra atención al interior para entender y aparejar las formas en las que nuestros cuerpos funcionan en los niveles molecular y celular. A diferencia de la otra profunda revolución biomédica de nuestros días, una cuestión de alta tecnología relacionada con la decodificación de nuestro genoma, la investigación de células raíz es una empresa de mucho más baja tecnología. No es la falta de herramientas científicas el mayor impedimento, sino las leyes y políticas públicas restrictivas.

Los primeros frutos de estas revoluciones no llegarán la semana entrante o el año entrante, así que es importante no alimentar las esperanzas del público de forma poco realista. Cómo se puede dirigir la transformación de células raíz embrionarias para que sigan un camino predecible y deseado sigue siendo un enigma. Pero podemos esperar que algunas aplicaciones entren al campo clínico en cinco años o algo por el estilo. Tales aplicaciones podrían ayudar contra enfermedades hasta ahora intratables como el mal de Parkinson y la diabetes, o incluso contra tales azotes como la insuficiencia cardíaca severa.

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