Photo by Pujohn Das/ Space10
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Advancement in genomics, a genetic discipline for creating and living a normal life, does not only result in more accurate illness treatment. The analysis on genetic difference in the gene controlling effectiveness of a medicine also helps physicians prescribe the type and quantity of medicine for each individual patient more suitably.
Personalized medicine reduces the risk of excessive intake and save costs. However, it only provides treatment after an illness occurs. Wouldn’t it be better if patients knew from the start their potential for developing a certain illness, in order to nip it in the bud?
Predictive medicine is a new alternative that is being developed along with genetic knowledge. The discipline studies the risk for a specific disease by inspecting SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism). For example, detecting the abnormality of BRCA1 which is accountable for 65% of breast cancer will revolutionize traditional medicine; changing from symptomatic treatment to preventive treatment, by suggesting lifestyle and preventive medication from the beginning.
Such treatment might increase the survival rate, but DNA sequence examination is still very expensive because the equipment alone costs 500,000 USD. Determined to reduce the cost, Jonathan Rothberg, the founder of Ion Torrent, invented a 10 times cheaper DNA testing machine. Instead of laser and microscope, he used semiconductor chips (like in smart phones) which contain 1.5 million sensors for detecting hydrogen atom by the sequence in DNA. A chip can be used only once and detect 10-20 million spirals from the total of 3,000 billion within a few hours, unlike the former design which can detect more but take weeks to get the result and costs a lot more.
The new technique reduces the DNA machine production cost to merely 50,000 USD. Although it is still in development stage and the chip, which can only be used once, is still pretty costly at 250 USD, it is undoubtedly a major step towards an affordable and accessible DNA testing for the public
Meet the visionaries who are inspired by the challenges in the world today and trying to figure out the way to better living tomorrow at CU 2014 (Creativities Unfold, Bangkok) in August at TCDC.
Photo by Pujohn Das/ Space10
The shortage of resources…
The increased number of senior citizens…
The relocation of world’s economic centre…
Through archives and records of our actions, the evidence of our existence is embedded in the data. On the other hand, the data also influences how we see the world and resulting into our actions. A tweet by Lev Manovich, a media theorist, stated that, “19th century was defined by the novel, 20th century culture by the cinema, the culture of the 21st century will be defined by the interface.” This notion may become true to the extent. So could the interface such as data visualisation improve our understanding of the reality of the world? Could it be used as a tool for knowledge cultivation?
Story: Atipong Amornwongpeeti
Heard of a Zipcar? Own a Nokia phone? Chances are that at least a couple of products and services you have been in contact with bear the fingerprint of Chris Downs, a brilliant mind who trailed the blaze for service design. However, as the field has garnered more disciples, this pioneer, now a Principal at Method, has forsaken the foundation assumptions of service design he formulated in its early days for a new vision that gives a new role to insights and better suits the current landscape.
Story: Sommanassa Ngernsa-ard
Professor Andy Miah’s interest has expanded extensively beyond his degrees in Science, Bioethics and Medical Law to other topics that concern emerging technologies and human enhancement. Basically, he advocates the use of technology to enhance humans, individually and socially. His books, lectures and articles usually advocate people to ponder about future of humanity beyond the current context so as to design it without restricted boundaries. His project #media2012 inside the mega event such as Olympics, for example, was also targeted to enhance humans socially with the power of digital media and citizen journalism. This article will seek to provide an insight to those innovative ideas that are centred around humans.