Future of Biotechnology

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Chapter Nine:

Future of Biotechnology in Healthcare

Biotechnology can offer patients more and better healthcare choices. New, innovative diagnostics and therapies are changing how some human diseases are prevented and others are treated. This monumental healthcare shift is in its early stages, with novel medicines, diagnostics and technologies in development that hold great potential to improve patients’ lives.

Future of Biotechnology in Healthcare

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Personalized Medicine Personalized medicine is the concept that patients should be treated with therapies and medicines based specifically on each patient’s unique genetic makeup, for optimal results . Currently, the practice of medicine is based on standards of care that are determined by averaging responses across large groups of people . Personalized medicine is a new paradigm that proposes to manage a patient’s disease based on the individual patient’s specific characteristics, including age, gender, height, weight, diet, genetics and environment . Genetic testing is beginning to allow the development of genomic personalized medicine—medical care based on a patient’s genotype or gene expression profile . BIoFaCT Molecular diagnostic tests analyze DNA, RNA or protein molecules to identify a disease, determine its course, evaluate responses to therapy or predict individual predisposition to a disease .

Advances in DNA technology are the keys to both pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine . These advances allow for testing and identifying an individual’s unique genetic makeup and then comparing those differences with the population at large . Knowledge of the human genome, variations of the genome among individuals and variations of the encoded proteins produced enables researchers to develop medicines that address the individual needs of each patient . Pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine promise to improve clinical trials for new drugs, advance screening technology for diseases and...
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