Back in December, Time released their annual list of the top ten medical breakthroughs. I completely forgot about this list until today, and figured that it was better late than never.
- AIDS Drugs Lower the Risk of HIV Infection – Antiretroviral drugs have turned the AIDS epidemic around, by thwarting the virus in HIV-positive patients. But new research suggests that this powerful treatment may have another benefit — as a weapon against infection in healthy individuals. Trials have the risk of contracting HIV lowered by up to 73%.
- Synthetic Cell – Dr. J. Craig Venter, co-mapper of the human genome, who this year took another step toward creating life in the lab. Generated from a painstaking process of stitching together the chemicals that compose DNA, Venter synthesized the entire genome of a bacterium, which was inserted into a cell and was able to replicate.
- Blood Test for Alzheimer’s – A promising new blood test may help confirm a diagnosis early in the disease’s progression, which opens the possibility for prevention of dementia and mental decline even before the earliest onset of symptoms. The new test analyzes more than two dozen proteins in the blood, and is 80% accurate in identifying patients with the disease. It is only the latest in a series of new methods, including tests of spinal fluid, aimed at detecting and confirming Alzheimer’s earlier in patients’ lives. Quicker diagnoses could help patients take advantage of behavioral interventions — such as keeping the mind active by maintaining social contacts and learning new things — that may slow the mental deterioration of Alzheimer’s.
- FDA Approves Botox for Migraines – Some patients who received Botox injections to prevent wrinkles in their forehead reported that their migraines also seemed to diminish, scientists — especially those at Allergan, the manufacturer of Botox — decided to investigate. Based on data from two large trials involving more than 1,000 patients, the company successfully convinced the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that patients receiving Botox in the facial area experienced fewer days of migraine pain each month than those who did not get the muscle paralyzing injections.
- Taking the Resuscitation out of CPR – In recent years, several studies have found that untrained bystanders are more comfortable performing chest compressions, without mouth-to-mouth — even with the help of a trained 911 operator — and that victims who receive only compressions are as likely to survive as those who receive full CPR. These results, coupled with the fact that only 30% of those in need of CPR actually get it — in large part because of untrained bystanders’ reluctance to perform what they view as a complex procedure — forced the AHA to revise its CPR guidelines. (via)
- The FDA Restricts Avandia
- Blood Test for Heart Attack – researchers have now identified a preliminary panel of 23 genes that code for blood proteins, which was 83% accurate in detecting blood-vessel obstructions typical of heart disease.
- Predicting IVF Success
- Artificial Ovary
- Creating iPS Cells Safer and Faster
View full list of the top 10 of everything for 2010