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Could Medicine Become a Cell Instead of a Pill?

September 07, 2016
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In modern medicine, treatment can be summarized in six words: “Have disease, take pill, kill something.” However, the past 100 years of antibiotic history have only targeted 0.025 percent of total chemical reactions of the body. Noninfectious and chronic diseases like diabetes and heart problems are more difficult to find cures for; most prescriptions only fix the disease partly. Cancer physician Siddhartha Mukherjee wants to challenge the way people think about the future of medicine. Rather than kill something in the body with antibiotics, why not grow something? Could medicine become a cell instead than a pill? After hurting his knee while running, Mukherjee decided to use his injury to find a cure for bone degeneration. To his surprise, he discovered skeletal stem cells in his bone cartilage. Mukherjee calls his find a “perceptual shift.” Instead of finding a pill to cure his knee, Mukherjee had to think about bone degeneration as a cellular disease. Hear more about Mukherjee’s discoveries in his March 2015 TED Talk. [embed]http://www.ted.com/talks/siddhartha_mukherjee_soon_we_ll_cure_diseases_with_a_cell_not_a_pill/transcript?language=en#t-40359[/embed]
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