The mysteries of life have been studied throughout the ages, but as technology and innovation opens more doors, we find devoted teams of continually making significant advancements. These discoveries are often shared with the public through open access journals like the ones offered by Bentham science publishers. Keeping up with the research trends in the area of science gives you a first look into the medical or developmental opportunities that lie ahead in combatting serious illness or disease.
Understanding Research Terms
Everyone is eager to find a cure for cancer and other sicknesses affecting the mortality rate, and there are thousands of research teams who devote all their time to doing just that. The year 2018 saw many new breakthroughs and advances in the areas of health, science, and technology covered by the Bentham science group of publishers. To be clear, a breakthrough can be found in a discovery of treatment or technology that has long-lasting implications or staying power, and it has large scale effects on society. On the other hand, an advancement is considered the steps taken toward reaching a breakthrough. Innovations and scientific tools are generally the breakthroughs, while discoveries made during the testing phases are considered advancements.
Breakthroughs in 2018
One of the most studied and researched areas of human health dealt with the aging process. This undeniable fact of life is revealed through thinning hair, weakened bones or joints, macular degeneration, metabolism changes, reduced cardiovascular output, and decreased energy. Many people accept these changes and work with their body to ensure the transition is smooth but productive. However, many others have questions concerning the ‘why’ questions of aging. Last year, a group of Harvard geneticists studied the reasons why humans become frail.
Through their testing and research involving mice, the group found that injecting the mice with nicotinamide mononucleotide worked to combat the effects of vascular aging and muscle decline. The effects of the supplement increased their blood vessel growth, improved their stamina, and reduced cell death. Their discovery led to the understanding of the SIRT1 protein and its effects on the human aging process.
Another breakthrough came from a team of researchers at UCLA, who found that certain species of rodents are equipped with a high-molecular-weight hyaluronan molecule which significantly contributes to immunity against cancers and seems to propel length of life. The crossover applications are important to human degeneration.
Advancements in 2018
In keeping with the new insight into the human aging process, several groups of researchers make remarkable new headway in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. Working to specifically reverse the devastating effects of this progressive disease, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Group found that by slowly reducing the levels of the BACE1 enzyme in mice with the disease, it completely reversed the development of amyloid plaques. These are the groups of proteins clumped together that destroy the synapses between nerve cells.
The Gladstone Research Group focused one of their teams on restoring the brain functions in diseased mice, by working to manage brain rhythms with transplanted reengineered inhibitory interneurons. This group also discovered a primary risk factor of Alzheimer’s in humans, which they labeled the gene apoE4. Through treatment with a small-molecule structure corrector, they found they could erase brain cell damage and promote normal function.
So Much Potential
For all of the research that has been done, we are really only at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our potential. The combination of technology and collaboration amongst medical geniuses will take these breakthroughs and advancements into a future bright with the hope of health and healing.