* Medical Engineering encompasses a broad range of activities, and is altrnatively called Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering. It is a multi-disciplinary subject integrating professional engineering activities with a basic medical knowledge of the human body and an understanding of how it functions when healthy, diseased or injured.
* Medical Engineers are needed for the healthcare industry, the world's biggest industrial sector, which has a turnover approaching £100 billion per annum and is currently expanding at a rate of 7% per annum. The opportunities for Medical Engineering graduates are enormous and it is one of the few areas of engineering that is expected to continue to grow for many years.
* Genetic engineering
* Recombinant DNA is one of the core techniques of genetic engineering. It is the process of removing DNA from one organism and inserting it into the DNA of another organism, giving it new traits. Recombinant DNA can be used to make crops resistant to pests or disease, it can be used to make livestock leaner or larger. In medicine, the technique can be used to develop drugs, vaccines, and to reproduce important human hormones and proteins. By engineering human DNA into a host organism, that organism can be turned into a factory for important medical products. Insulin production is an excellent example of the recombinant DNA process. Host organisms can range from bacteria like E. coli, to plants, to animals. * Genetic engineering can be used to produce chemicals and hormones that
the body requires. For an example we'll use insulin for a diabetic person. First remove a certain gene from a human cell using a restriction enzyme, in this instance we'll "cut" out the gene for producing insulin. Second extract a plasmid from a bacterial cell and again "cut" it with the restriction enzyme. Insert the gene into the plasmid by attaching both of the "sticky ends" of the gene onto the ends of the plasmid. Now re-insert the hybrid plasmid into the bacteria cell, where it will replicate to make new DNA for the cell. Many more daughter cells can be cultured and used to make insulin. * Prenatal diagnosis
* Prenatal diagnosis or prenatal screening (note that "Prenatal Diagnosis" and "Prenatal Screening" refer to two different types of tests) is testing for diseases or conditions in a fetus or embryo before it is born. The aim is to detect birth defects such as neural tube defects, Down syndrome, chromosome abnormalities, genetic diseases and other conditions, such as spina bifida, cleft palate, Tay Sachs disease, sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, cystic fibrosis, Muscular dystrophy, and fragile x syndrome. Screening can also be used for prenatal sex discernment. Common testing procedures include amniocentesis, ultrasonography including nuchal translucency ultrasound, serum marker testing, or genetic screening. In some cases, the tests are administered to determine if the fetus will be aborted, though physicians and patients also find it useful to diagnose high-risk pregnancies early so that delivery can be scheduled in a tertiary care hospital where the baby can receive appropriate care.
* employs a variety of techniques to determine the health and condition of an unborn fetus. Without knowledge gained by prenatal diagnosis, there could be an untoward outcome for the fetus or the mother or both. Congenital anomalies account for 20 to 25% of perinatal deaths. Specifically, prenatal diagnosis is helpful for: * Managing the remaining weeks of the pregnancy
* Determining the outcome of the pregnancy
* Planning for possible complications with the birth process * Deciding whether to continue the pregnancy
* Finding conditions that may affect future pregnancies
* Genetic Screening
* Some institution such as the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment (OTA)...