Alan Russell discusses how the potential of regenerative medicine in contrast to the idea of bio-mechanics and drugs. In this interesting talk, Russell states that regenerative medicine could regenerate the lost function of the body by regenerating the function of organs and damaged tissues meaning that by the end of the regenerative treatment the patient is the same as they were before the treatment.
USA statistics show that in 1930 there were 41 workers for every retiree – by 2010 there were only 2 workers per retiree. The richer we are, the longer we live – yet herein lies a problem – we cannot afford to look after our sick. The older we get, the more health issues we get and the more it costs to treat the symptoms.
Alan Russell explains in the TED talk how regenerative medicine has a part to play in the future of medicine by intervening at an earlier stage we could allow the body the chance to repair itself over palliative treatments that simply ease symptoms. Imagine if we could repair the pancreas so that it can produce insulin correctly – before a diabetic patient becomes reliant on costly long term medication. In much the same way that salamanders can regrow limbs this is an ability humans also have whilst still a foetus – even when first born, a baby would be able to regrow a finger – but as we age this ability is lost – our bodies are capable of regeneration – we just need to harness and nurture this ability in the long term.