At the stroke of midnight this past New Year’s Eve, a brand new era was ushered into American society. This was the beginning of the Baby Boomers’ retirement. By definition, Baby Boomers are referred to as those folks born between 1946 and 1964. This year, those born in 1946 will be the first to reach 65. All of this means that we will have an entire generation of close to 79 million people entering into their senior years in the next decade. This is why all eyes are on the medical field for the next wave of biotechnology that is going to help with the fight against diseases, especially those related to growing older.
Two of the most promising fields of biotechnology research will be in RNA therapeutics and stem cell therapies. RNA or ribonucleic acids are those strands of microsomes that communicate with our DNA. Think of them as the switch that turns our genetic codes on and off. For instance, if a person is predisposed to a particular type of disease because of their genetic DNA, then rewiring RNA could help shut down those harmful cells. RNA therapeutics is the science of developing drug therapies that can essentially trick a person’s DNA into behaving in a healthier manner. RNA therapeutics is at the heart of fighting several diseases. It would be like taking a pill to prevent diabetes if you have a family history of the disease.
On another biotechnology front, stem cell therapies are moving more from lab experiments into human trials. We’ve all heard about advancements in stem cell technology that have shown many promising results in regenerating our body’s cells. Now instead of rats having all the benefits, actual human patients will be seeing more and more stem cell therapies. The first patients to see the benefits of these trials will be those suffering from spinal cord injury.