DOUBLE-BLINDED MEDICINE: When Doctor and Patient Are Both in the Dark

DOUBLE-BLINDED MEDICINE:

When Doctor and Patient Are

Both in the Dark

I met a dermatologist the other day who made my skin crawl. He was in his thirties, tall, lean, and unsmiling, like many doctors these days. But what stood out most was a fresh-looking, full-color, eye-popping tattoo on his right arm that snaked its way up from his wrist, circumvented his forearm, and slipped beneath his short-sleeved shirt to unknown anatomical areas. I believe he also had a tattoo on his left arm, but I was too gobsmacked at the time to take note.

Now, you might think, as I do, that a tattooed dermatologist is an oxymoron. It doesn’t take much imagination, or research on the Internet, to realize that tattoos are bad for the skin.

The most obvious issue is that tattooing is done by puncturing the skin, causing skin trauma and risk of infection. Interestingly, there is research that connects the injury to the skin made by both tattooing and vaccinations as a cause of numerous skin reactions, including cancer.

The 2014 article, “Tattoo and vaccination sites: Possible nest for opportunistic infections, tumors, and dysimmune reactions”, in the journal Clinical Dermatology, explains that, “Both dermal tattoos and vaccine injections may alter local immune responses, creating an immunocompromised district on or near the site of placement. This can lead to the development of opportunistic infections, benign and malignant tumors, and local dysimmune reactions… A variety of tumors including basal and squamous cell carcinomas, keratoacanthomas, and malignant melanoma also have been reported in association with tattoos… Vaccination sites similarly provide a setting for both benign and malignant tumors.”

The inks used are also a problem, causing allergies and exposure to heavy metals. It is fairly common for individuals to have an allergic reaction to the dyes used in tattoos. Ink is actually filled with many chemicals and unnatural ingredients that can irritate a person’s skin.

There is also a link to skin cancer. When it comes to cancer, black ink can be especially dangerous because it contains a very high level of benzo(a)pyrene. Benzo(a)pyrene is currently listed as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Black ink is the most commonly used color for tattooing.

You might think that this doctor may have gotten his tattoos before becoming a doctor, so he didn’t know any better. But this was a new tattoo. And he was flaunting it, not hiding it.

Tattoos are common these days, and fashionable in certain circles. Doctors want to look cool, like everyone else. They grew up like everyone else, exposed to, and brainwashed by, the same cultural messages. They just choose to go into medicine.

I also met a cardiologist who smoked cigarettes. He was also grossly overweight, and ate a big, juicy hamburger with fries for lunch. Of course, being obese, smoking and eating fried foods can increase heart disease.

An obese, smoking cardiologist eating fast food makes as much sense as a tattooed dermatologist.

Maybe these doctors are attracted to their specialties because they know they will need treatment from that specialty due to their lifestyles? It’s like when mentally-disturbed, neurotic people become psychologists or psychiatrists.

How about female doctors who constrict their breasts with tight bras for long hours daily? There are many female breast health experts, including breast surgeons, who wear breast-harming bras. Their medical training never mentioned tight clothing as a cause of circulatory impairment and lymph stasis. These doctors willingly immobilize and alter their breast shape, hide their nipples, and basically re-design their breast appearance for cultural reasons, and do this despite the documented harms caused by bras, including causing breast pain, cysts, and cancer. Wearing bras is just something every woman is culturally expected to do, even doctors.

Is this hypocrisy? Should we expect doctors to be paragons of health and healthy lifestyles?

More basically, when we seek help, does it matter whether the helper is in the same mess we are in? In other words, can you trust a lifeline from someone in the same boat as you?

We seek help in many places.

Would you go to a priest who was a known pedophile?

Would you use a mechanic whose car is broken down?

Would you go to a hairdresser who is having a “bad hair day”?

Would you use a plastic surgeon who has a big nose, cock-eyed chin, and facial scars?

How about eating in a restaurant where the cook is out because of food poisoning?

You could also go into a health food store and buy chips, coffee, candy, wine, beer, and lots of other unhealthy stuff.

Then there are the drug addiction recovery programs that offer coffee to everyone, one of the most addictive substances we consume.

Clearly, there’s a problem here. We live in a culture where there are lots of products and activities that can harm us. In fact, the biggest cause of disease and death is the culture and all the bad things it teaches us to think, do and feel. We absorb these cultural messages from the uterus onward, as our nature becomes modified by our culture.

This applies to everyone. It includes doctors, too. Just because someone studied medicine, it does not mean that they personally eliminated all harmful cultural practices in their lives. The same cultural causes of disease that fill their waiting rooms also fill their personal lives. In fact, the medical culture is even worse on doctors.

For some reason that is not clear, the medical system exploits doctors with long work hours and sleepless day and night shifts. Doctors are rushed and pressured, grabbing unhealthy snacks on the go. They become tempted to abuse drugs to keep going, but may settle for drinking 10-20 cups of strong coffee, instead. They also become tempted to use drugs to relax, but may settle for a few alcoholic drinks. They have little recreation time, or time with their families. And depending on their specialty, they are exposed daily to infectious diseases, death, radiation, the soul-robbing sights and smells of hospitals, and the depression of treating endless lines of sick people, often using treatments that do no good, and for conditions that have no known cause.

Clearly, being a doctor can make you sick, mentally and physically. No wonder why there are so many doctor suicides. Just practicing medicine is slow suicide.

This also means that doctors are not the ones to tell patients to clean up their lifestyles. The doctor’s lifestyle is at least as bad, and actually worse. They participate in the same unhealthy culture as everyone else, addicted to many of the same things, and suffering from the same psychological and physical issues. But they are the ones who are meant to treat those problems.

The Life of Mammogram Inventor Stafford L Warren

Stafford L. Warren was one of the most significant contributors to radiology during his lifetime. He not only was the first doctor to perform a mammogram, but was also had a hand in turning UCLA into one of the most prestigious medical universities in the country, was a special assistant on mental disabilities to Presidents John F Kennedy and Lyndon B Johnson, and aided the U.S. government in testing of nuclear weapons before speaking out about the dangers of nuclear fallout from weapons testing, which were controversial at the time. However, his strong opinions would eventually be considered, leading up to the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1963.

Born in New Mexico in 1896, Stafford L. Warren attended the University of California, Berkeley, and graduated with his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1918. Heading to the University of California, San Francisco, he graduated with his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1922 and later did post-doctoral work at John Hopkins School of Medicine and Harvard University.

Warren became an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine in 1926. Since the Department of Radiology was brand new at the time, Warren was one of the original group of medical professionals that Dean George Whipple chose to staff the school. By 1930, Warren was an Associate Professor of Medicine. He began to study the work of Albert Salomon, a sociologist from the University of Berlin who produced over 3,000 images of mastectomy specimens and extensively studied the many forms and stages of cancer in the breast. Since Salomon wasn’t keen to recognize the life saving aspects of his discoveries, Warren expanded on his research, using radiology to track changes in breast tissue and developing a stereoscopic technique in which the patient would lie on her side with one arm raised while being X-Rayed. This was a huge breakthrough for breast cancer detection, as it allowed diagnosis of breast cancer to be possible without surgery. Warren subsequently published “A Roentgenologic Study of the Breast” in 1930. Today Warren is cited as the inventor of the mammogram for his breast imaging technique. Each year mammograms are responsible to diagnosing millions of breast cancer cases, effectively saving the lives of women the world over.

Warren, having now tackled a major milestone in his career and developing a new life saving technique, then went on to take on a new project: overseeing the health and safety of thousands during the Manhattan Project. His new role meant being responsible for the safety aspects of the detonation of the Trinity nuclear test in Alamogordo, New Mexico on July 16, 1945. He later handled radiological safety when he led a team of surveyors to Japan, and to the Bikini Atoll in 1946, where more nuclear testing was done. Warren was in charge of assessing the radioactive contamination of the environment and atmosphere, which he was appalled by.

In response to this, in a piece for LIFE magazine in 1947 he wrote, “The development of atomic bombs has presented the world with a variety of formidable scientific, moral and political problems, nearly all of them still unsolved.” He went on to write an in depth analysis of the effects of the bombs, people and environment affected, the time length in which the effects of the bomb lasted, safety measures used during the Bikini expedition in which “a month passed before men could stay on some of the ships for more than an hour”, and “300 men of the safety section lived and worked in the contaminated area to protect some 42,000 other members of the Bikini expedition. Every group which entered the target area was accompanied by a safety monitor who determined how long it could stay.” The men were then bathed carefully when they returned, and if their Geiger counters indicated radioactive contamination they had to be bathed again. “Occasionally when a man had taken off his protective gloves in the ‘hot’ area, the safety section had to dissolve the outer layer of skin from their hands with acid.” Clothes and other materials found too contaminated were sunk into the ocean a mile below the surface, because there was literally “no other way to keep them permanently away from human beings.”

In the article, Warren concluded that atomic weapons can never be prepared for by anyone involved, and that “no defense would have been effective. The only defense against atomic bombs still lies outside the scope of science. It is the prevention of atomic war.”

Warren left his position in 1946, becoming the Chief of the Medical Section of the Atomic Energy Commission, which is a civilian agency that succeeded the Manhattan Project; and later he was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Merit for his contributions to radioactive and atomic weapons safety.

In 1947, Warren was once again at the helm of a brand new medical university, this time UCLA, which had been voted on to establish a medical school for Southern California. He was appointed as the school’s first dean. In 1951 the first students, 28 in total, were enrolled, and there were 15 faculty members. By 1955, when the class graduated, there were 43 faculty members. The UCLA Medical Center officially opened in 1955, and Warren oversaw many milestones and achievements while there, including the addition of schools for Dentistry, Nursing, and Public Health.

Environmental Factors for Hair Loss

ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS OF HAIR LOSS

Hair loss – a common problem which adversely impacts the self-esteem of a number of individuals all over the world. While many people blame the condition entirely on genetics, it is important to know that there are many other factors which contribute to both female and male pattern baldness.

There are numerous individuals know about the way that our encompassing condition can assume a key part in causing male pattern baldness. The beneath specified focuses will tell about the different ecological elements which can prompt male pattern baldness in the two people:

1. Contamination

Debased air contains toxins and cancer-causing agents which can meddle with the protein in charge of hair development bringing about loss of hair. As per researchers, a few poisons can enter the circulatory system, body and skin, and debilitate the hair follicles. It is consequently that spots with a dirtied domain have more number of bare individuals.

2. Hard Water

Hard water is one of the greatest ecological components that prompt male pattern baldness. Late looks into have demonstrated that nations having water with more PPM (parts per million) have more number of uncovered individuals. Higher amounts of magnesium, calcium and silica can cause dryness and harm the hair.

3. Concoction Substances

Barely any compound substances, for example, chlorine found in swimming pools are known to mischief and harm the hair. While there’s nothing concrete over the immediate connection amongst chlorine and sparseness, it is regularly connected to adversely influencing the general prosperity of hair.

4. Warmth and Sun

Drawn out presentation to the sun may bring about perpetual male pattern baldness. A sunburn influencing the scalp can enact Telogen Effluvium, which is a male example hair sparseness condition wherein more than expected follicles enter the resting period of the development cycle. This can exacerbate the male pattern baldness issue.

ADVANTAGES OF HAIR TRANSPLANT

1. There are no complications in hair transplantation:- Hair transplants are very protected. In any case, it’s somewhat of an extend to state that they are without inconvenience. Patients may have redness, swelling and crusting post operatively. When all is said in done, the recuperation in FUE methodology is considerably less demanding than FUT strategies. In any case, there are uncommon difficulties in hair transplant surgery that incorporate dependable nerve torment (more in FUT than FUE systems) and steady scalp redness. Unless a doctor is painstakingly checking the methodology, a patient can even become ill. The hair transplant group tends to bashful far from calling hair transplant systems a ‘surgery’ to make the strategy more patient neighborly – yet don’t imagine it any other way a hair transplant is a surgery.

2. You will regain the hair density of your youth:- A hair transplant is a surgical system which included moving somewhere in the range of 10 to 10,000 hairs into a zone of thinning up top. On the off chance that a region of male pattern baldness is little, it might be conceivable to manufacture some extremely decent thickness in the territory – yet the thickness is for the most part short of what it used to be. For instance, in a patient who is exceptionally uncovered, a thickness of 35-40 follicular units for every square centimeter will regularly be made. This zone likely had a thickness of at least 90 follicular units for every square centimeter at one time years sooner. In this way, it is for the most part the standard for a hair transplant to make comes about that are less thick than the first thickness. A talented specialist can regularly help make 35-40 follicular units resemble the first thickness. Be that as it may, photographs and recordings of patients with incredibly thick and thick hair following their technique may not generally be exact.

Importance of Evidence-Based Complementary Medicine

The modern-day world has many challenges and thus good health is one of the greatest blessings in today’s era. For example, a rich man with a bad health will always be unsatisfied and unhappy! “Health is Wealth”. Improving your health is an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. It is a fact that your health affects all the aspects of your life, be it professional, or personal. Probably that is the reason why evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine came into existence!

With increasing number of health-related apps and journals on the internet, you can now easily move towards a healthier lifestyle. Even the experts of medicine have admitted that the advice and products of work best when supplemented with a doctor’s standard care and supervision.

As the famous proverb suggests, “Prevention is better than cure” and evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine helps you achieve this goal. So, here are a few benefits that you might get if you follow an integrative healthcare protocol:

It helps you in receiving specific treatment plans as per your physical requirements. As each individual has a unique body, it is not advisable to subscribe to a generalized treatment protocol. An effective biotyping assessment studies your inherited traits such as body frame, personality type, digestive capacity, metabolic activity, nutrigenomics, as well as environmental factors. In this way, it provides you with a personalized holistic Integrative healthcare medicine advice.
It aims at examining and treating all the aspects of physical as well as emotional components. It is proven that daily stress negatively affects your emotions, biology and genetics. All this further results in greater risks of several chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease!
It offers a wide range of Natural Cure and Remedies so that you are not completely dependent on pharmaceuticals, many of which have side-effects. The food that you eat is one of the biggest reasons behind your healthy (or unhealthy) life! Following unhealthy food habits can result in an increase in the risk of heart conditions, high blood sugar, obesity, etc. So, what could be better than utilizing food as a medicine?
It focuses on the prevention of diseases before it even occurs. While conventional medicines are prescribed for a lifetime for chronic disease, alternative medicine examines the root causes of the disease. It also encourages the patients to focus on preventing a disease by eating healthy foods, exercise, meditation, etc.

Discussion on Cell Therapy From The Point of Standardization, Scale, and Industrialization

What is cell therapy?
Cell therapy refers to the transplantation or input of normal or bioengineered human cells into a patient’s body and newly-imported cells can replace damaged cells or involve a stronger immune killing function, so as to achieve the purpose of treating diseases. Cell therapy has shown higher application value in the treatment of cancer, hematological diseases, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease etc. In general, cell therapy includes tumor cell immunotherapy and stem cell therapy. There are two cell sources for cell therapy, one from the patient itself and the other from the allogeneic tissue.

The Defects of Cell Therapy
The cell is the most basic unit that contributes to a living organism, however, it does not mean that everyone shares the same cells. On the contrary, there is a huge difference in each individual which can be compared to human-to-human differences, that is, two identical people never exist. The huge difference between cells and cell preparations is the biggest drawback of cell therapy. In this post, we will discuss several issues that need attention in the current stage of cell therapy.

Difficulties in the Standardization of Cell Therapy
Cancer cell immunotherapy cannot be standardized from the stage of raw material acquisition. The cell treatment materiasl for each paitient are their own blood leukocytes. The condition and physical condition of each patient are different, and the collected white blood cell growth quantity and kill activity are not uniform and cannot be standardized. As it is impossible to standardize raw materials, preparation processes, and product specifications, it cannot be standardized, industrialized, and scaled up. Each tumor cell immunotherapy laboratory meets the GMP level with the hardware environment, and it can be more like a cell preparation workshop. Researchers ranged in number from a few to a dozen and could not really meet the standards of division of labor of industrialized pharmaceutical companies. Taking stem cell therapy that using umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells as an example, which raw material is an umbilical cord, and one umbilical cord-produced cell can be utilized by many paitients. The standardization path is more advanced than the immunotherapy of tumor cells, and the raw materials can be standardized to some extent.

Difficulties in The Scale of Cell Therapy Industry
At present, the production mode of the cell therapy industry mainly depends on technicians. In the 10,000-grade clean laboratory, the cells are operated in class 100 clean bench, cultured in a carbon dioxide incubator, centrifuged in a centrifuge, observed through an inverted microscope, and the drug reagents are stored in a medicine refrigerator. All of these devices are operated by independent biological laboratories of the individual and being linked together through the operations of scientists. This type of production model is small in scale and similar to workshop-type production. Although there are some large scales, the essence is a collection of many small workshops. Due to the small scale, the instruments used are laboratory instruments and many of the reagents used are scientific reagents, which will lead to the issue of low efficiency but high cost.

Autologous or Allogeneic
There are two kinds of cell sources for cell therapy, one from the patients and the other from the allogeneic tissue. Autologous cell therapy cannot be standardized from the raw material acquisition stage, and it are only applied to the patient itself, the essence is essentially medical technology. The prevalence of autologous cell therapy as a medical technology is mainly due to the scale of the predicament. Allogeneic therapy, the cells derived from allogeneic. Taking tumor cell immunotherapy as an example, the cell source may be from cord blood, and the larger-scale cell source may be a filter plate for leukocyte filtration at the blood bank. Taking umbilical cord mesenchymal stem as an example, the cell source is the umbilical cord, and one umbilical cord-producing cell can be used by more than one person. If scale can be cultivated, although the quality standards cannot be quantified well, the scaled products themselves have a certain degree of standardized properties.

The cell industry, as an industry, is not the path to the advancement of cell-based therapeutics. If the advanced technology cannot be mass-produced on a large scale, it can only stay in the laboratory and become the object of research for scientists, never have achance to become a drug into the majority of patients. For allogeneic cell therapy that using allogeneic cells as raw materials, the standardized properties of the scaled products can be realized if large-scale cultures are prepared, then scale and standardization can promote each other. The current progress in standardization of cells is not easy, but the progress in scale should be relatively easy to achieve.

Natural cytokine supernatants with more standardized and standardized properties
Cytokines are a class of small molecule proteins with broad biological activity synthesized and secreted by immune cells (such as monocytes, macrophages, T cells, B cells, NK cells, etc.) and certain non-immune cells (endothelial cells, epidermal cells, fibroblasts, etc.) Immune responses are regulated by binding to the respective receptors to regulate cell growth, differentiation and effects. Cytokines (CK) are low-molecular-weight soluble proteins that are produced by various types of cells induced by immunogens, mitogens, or other stimulants. They have the ability to regulate innate immunity [1] and adaptive immunity [2], hematopoiesis, cell growth, and damage tissue repair and other functions.

Cytokines can be divided into interleukins, interferons, tumor necrosis factor superfamily, colony stimulating factors, chemokines, growth factors etc. Cytokines form a very complex cytokine regulatory network in the body and participate in many important physiological functions of the human body. Where stem cells and immune cells cannot reach the body, cytokines can easily reach target tissue sites because of their small size.

In recent years, recombinant gene cytokines have made remarkable achievements in clinical applications as a novel biological response modifier. A large part of the effects of stem cell therapy and immune therapy arises from the action of cytokines secreted in the body. The stem cells and immune cells in the body are introduced back into the body to secrete a variety of natural structural cytokines. Although the amount of these cytokines is relatively small, they are synergistic and act directly on the cytokine network in the body because of their high natural structure activity, lack of antigenicity but diversity. Because of the standardization, standardization, industrialization, and scale of natural compound cytokines, it is more cost-effective than cell therapy, allowing more patients in need to enjoy cell-like therapeutic effects.

Although natural complex cytokines can largely replace cell therapy, but there are still conditions that require the presence of cells to exert a therapeutic effect. We hope that cell therapy can break the current situation, become high efficiency and low cost with large scale, more standardization, and then be applied to more disease treatments.

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This Company offers emergency air ambulance services, ranging from beds to basic and advanced medical facilities as well as other cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, all basic and advanced medical facilities are available for severely ill patient transport., So that you can get better and comfortable treatment. We do not charge any type of emergency patient for any type of advanced and high-quality medical facilities at the time of transportation.

Struggling With Antibiotic Resistance

I never saw it coming. The process started with a small, but painful sensation right in the middle of my right butt-cheek. A very annoying problem because I am a writer squirming around as I try to fill up empty screens with words.

At first, I downplayed it as just some stupid little irritation that would go away as soon as it came. Being a diabetic for about 25 years now I am prone to inflammations and infections. This was just another in a long succession of intermittent, annoying, health problems.

At the onset, the thought never occurred that it might be an infection. I had not had any accident, no cuts, abrasions or scrapes so that did not pop up as the culprit. That is until it persisted and grew into an open sore. The pain level also rose dramatically.

I went to the doctor. He did not think it was serious. He wrote a prescription for a mild antibiotic and a cream. I left the office confident that the problem was in hand. Back home I took a pill, applied the cream and applied a bandage.

By that point sitting at my computer and performing my daily writing ritual was growing into a serious challenge. The pain was so intense that I had to force myself not to move at all. That worked for a while. I took the full antibiotic course and got into the habit of cleaning and dressing the open wound three times a day.

The process began last November. As I came to the end of the bottle of pills I was hit by a wave of disappointment and confusion. I had to face the fact that the infection had gotten worse, not better. Had the doctor misdiagnosed it? Had he given me the wrong antibiotic? Worse, did I have some rare new infection?

I went back to his office in a far more worried state than I was during my first visit. He admitted he was puzzled but brushed that aside. I got a new prescription for a stronger antibiotic that was going to require four consecutive injections.

Once again I returned home feeling a bit numb but optimistic that this stronger injectible antibiotic would do the trick. I got the injections and waited for the medication to build up in my system and wipe out the infection. I waited and waited. The situation did not get better it got even worse.

By then I could not sit and also had a hard time walking. The pain was constant even when I was trying to write while lying down. This time when I returned to the doctor’s office he told me to go to the emergency room. He would not try another antibiotic. In fact, he seemed at a loss.

Instead, I went to a clinic. The doctor there did prescribe another antibiotic, took a culture for the lab and had nurses scrub the wound. It just kept growing as if the antibiotic cream was a placebo and the injections had been nothing but water.

At that point, I had added symptoms including chronic fatigue and the first signs of depression. These two are features of a diabetic’s life and I knew what they were as soon as they arose. My immune system was beaten down and using whatever energy it could get from whatever source was available.

I did not get my hopes up during the third two-week course of the latest antibiotic. In fact, I was on pins and needles the whole time. When I finished I was not surprised that it too had failed at its job. Still, it never occurred to me that I might be antibiotic resistant.

By that point, I began to consider the possibility that my 71-year old body was running out of gas. My energy level was so low, and pain level so high that I could not write. I could only walk the short distance to the corner store to ship and my mood was buried in the pits.

When I returned to the doctor’s office he did not seem too surprised by the fact his prescription had failed. He put the lab report up on the lightbox and pointed to it. “I am afraid the results show you are resistant to every type of antibiotic we have.”

I simply could not wrap my mind around his statement. I had never thought that I had overused antibiotics to the point my immune system built up a total tolerance. Then again, nobody ever tells you where that line is.

In fact, I had taken at least one course each of the 3 previous years to cure sinus infections. I left the office completely confused and with no idea of what to do next. The doctor suggested that I schedule an operation to remove the infected area. My thought was that hospitals are great places to contract infections. I was not eager to take that option especially when it would mean I could not sit at the computer and work for a much longer period of time.

Believe it or not, that whole process went on for four months and I still had the infection. I decided to tough it out and see if my body would mobilize and get rid of it. Then I had an impulse to try one more doctor, a female who I had seen before and was impressed by.

She gave me a spray that the other doctors never mentioned, Microdacyn. This spray is a biologically active treatment for the treatment of acute and chronic wounds that are difficult to heal. I applied and applied it every day and started seeing improvement much to my relief.

My status now is guarded and uncertain. I do now I cannot afford one more sinus infection. I did discover one effective treatment, Phage Therapy. However, that is only available in Eastern Europe. I advise a very conservative approach when it comes to taking antibiotics, only do so when it is truly necessary.

Analysis to Next Generation Sequencing Technology

With the development of science, traditional Sanger sequencing has failed to meet new requirements of low cost, high throughput and fast in speed.

Recent years, with the discovery and promotion of second-generation sequencing technology, the gene sequencing speed has increased greatly while achieving a substantial decline in costs, making large-scale application of genome sequencing possible. Now, the cost of personal whole genome sequencing is about 5,000$, and is expected to decreased to less than $ 1,000 in the next few years.

The rapid development of sequencing technology will promote the massive accumulation of DNA sequencing data, accompanied by the accumulation of the corresponding individual diseases, signs and other data at the same time. When we accumulate enough data, how to understand these data will be critical. On the micro level, generations of molecular biologists’ studying the effects of apparent biological traits genes exert on utilizing technologies like gene knockout have made breakthroughs in many crucial aspects. On the macro level, statistics and other data analysis techniques are introduced to study the relationship between gene sequences and biological phenotype. The accumulation of basic scientific research gradually brings breakthroughs in clinical applications.

There are now two types of clinical applications mainly, one aims at disease screening of ordinary people. It infers people’s future risks of getting cancer by measuring the known genes associated with a disease loci. The other aims at the diagnosis cancer and other deadly diseases. It finds in a series of drugs or plans the most effective one for certain patients by testing the loci of certain genes.

Data from BBC research shows that total global gene sequencing market increased from $ 7.941million in 2007 to $ 4.5 billion in 2013, and will reach $ 11.7 billion in the year of 2018 with the CAGR up to 21.2%.

Currently, the market of de novo sequence platform is mainly taken by several major manufacturers, including the Illumina, Ion Torrent / Life Technologies (was the acquisition of Thermo Fisher in 2014), 454 Life Sciences / Roche, etc.

Under such a circumstance, the next generation sequencing technology (second-generation sequencing) appears. As an emerging industry, the next-generation sequencing technology can be applied in clinical testing like antibody discovery, health industry, industrial and agricultural use of gene-oriented study as well as scientific research and development.

Take Ownership of Your Health: Hold Yourself Accountable

Over the years, I’ve conducted extensive research on health topics such as obesity, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. I have also studied theories of behavior change. What jumps out at me the most is how many of these conditions are preventable. Yes, there are non-modifiable factors however, it is our behaviors that are causing damage to our health and wellness. Essentially, we are all aware of our unhealthy behaviors and the consequences associated with them. I feel like I’m a misfit in society because I actually enjoy physical activity, going to the gym and pushing my body to its limits. I was also criticised heavily because it took me nearly two weeks to finishing watching the third season of Stranger Things. Let that sink in. We live in a society where it is the norm to watch an entire season of a television series over a weekend, let alone one day and this is completely acceptable, even encouraged. I feel like I have to justify why I don’t binge watch television, why I wake up early to exercise and why I restrict processed foods (among many other ingredients) from my diet.

My reason is simple, I do it for my health. Health is a priority to me and I want to face the daily challenges of life with the least amount of pain, discomfort and illness as possible. I’m not a machine, I get sick on occasion and I have a history of injuries. I watch television and movies and I’m known to indulge in a meal or snack of the unhealthy variety on occasion. I try to keep my immune system optimal and reduce my risk of injury through strength and flexibility training. Let’s examine exercise. Most of us know that it is beneficial to our health, not just physically but emotionally as well. Increased levels of physical activity have the potential to lower the risk of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease (among many more) according to multiple sources. We know that being inactive increases the risk of the mentioned conditions, yet many of us choose to do nothing about it. There is a disconnect between what we know and what we do. Do we not prioritize our health and quality of life? Do we get distracted with the ease of technology and everything available at the touch of a button? Do we know how many deaths can be prevented each year by modifying our behaviors?

So much of what we experience is preventable if we take the necessary precautions. We don’t have to wait until we get diagnosed to make a change. We can make changes so that we don’t get diagnosed. We do have the time if we make it a priority. We can find a plethora of excuses why we don’t exercises of we can focus on reasons why we should. I can honestly say that I am 100% responsible for all of the injuries I’ve sustained in my lifetime. Whether it was negligence, ignorance or ego, I was at fault and I take full ownership of that. Now let’s take ownership of our health and strive for progression.

Cancer Immunotherapy Use on Cancer Patients

Recent advances in treating cancer patients have resulted in the development of biological therapies that can prove to be a promising alternative to conventional cancer therapies. Immunotherapy harnesses the body’s immune system to identify and fight effectively against cancer cells.

Immunotherapy works by attacking the growth of cancer cells or stimulating the immune system to kill cancer cells. Contradictory to the standard cancer treatment regimes such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, which act on both normal and cancerous cells, immuno-therapeutic treatments are highly specific. A wide range of cancer immuno-therapy approaches exists such as immune checkpoint blockers, cancer vaccines, immune-modulators, monoclonal antibodies and cell based immuno-therapies have demonstrated to be effective against cancer patients.

The most commonly targeted form of cancer chemotherapy is the use of monoclonal antibodies as they can be tailor-made in the laboratory. They have unique antigen specificity thereby allowing themselves to attach to specific epitopes on cancer cells. This flags the cancer cells and makes it more visible to the immune system so that it can find and destroy those cells. Currently, most of the monoclonal antibodies are undergoing phase 3 clinical trials or awaiting FDA review process. Unlike monoclonal antibodies, non-specific immuno-therapy approaches such as administration of immuno-modulatory cytokines are also being used to treat melanoma. Cytokines are hormones that are endogenously produced by the body to enhance or suppress T-cell response against cancer cells. IFN-α and IL-2 are most commonly characterized cytokines used in cancer immuno-therapy.

The primary cell-based immuno-therapy strategy which is successful these days is the use of T-cell therapy, wherein cancer T cells removed from blood are modified with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) and is then infused back into the patients to treat metastatic cancer. Another form of cell-based immuno-therapy used is tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) therapy, wherein TIL is surgically removed from tumor tissue and is considerably increased in the laboratory by adding cytokines to it and is then re-infused back into the patient.

A promising treatment that has emerged in recent times for treatment of melanoma is the use of immune checkpoint inhibitors. They act by inhibiting the checkpoint receptors on T cells that act as brakes to the immune system thereby mediating anti-tumor responses. Some of the commonly used antibody inhibitors that have been commercialized are PD-1, PDL-1, and CTLA-4. Another more focused approach to cancer immuno-therapy is the use of vaccines to encourage the immune system to generate antibodies that can target tumor specific antigens, thereby eradicating cancerous cells. Cancer vaccines include peptide-based, dendritic cell-based, tumor cell-based and DNA cell based. Cancer vaccines can be broadly classified as preventive or therapeutic. Preventive vaccines are commercially available for against cervical and liver cancer causing viruses such as human Papillomavirus and Hepatitis B virus, respectively.

However, in spite of these advances, limitation such as tumor heterogeneity, unpredictable efficacy and identification of potential markers still exist in the field of cancer immuno-therapy. Therefore, new more targeted cancer immuno-therapies and preventive strategies are being developed and tested, which will deliver novel efficacious therapy against relapsed or refractory cancer patients.