The 5 Most Amazing Advances in 21st-Century Medicine

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Thanks to the tireless, brilliant efforts of science- and medical-minded individuals dating back to time immemorial, we have arrived at a period in history when cures and treatments are available for a staggering range of maladies. And yet we tend to take this stuff for granted. Got a bum knee? We’ll replace it! Got shot in the stomach? Don’t worry, we’ll just put someone else’s blood in you and stitch it all up. Still, some recent medical advances are so amazing that even the most jaded will be impressed.

5 Stem Cells Lift

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And sure enough, just as soon as an amazing medical breakthrough becomes viable for use in treating disease and affliction, someone tries to profit from it. We are referring to the stem cell facelift industry, of course. The notion is that stem cells are effectively young, malleable cells, and thus if they are injected into wrinkly, droopier areas of the face and neck, things will tighten up. We endorse it not.

4 Robotic Surgery

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Robotic surgery is not only the key to less invasive procedures that require smaller incisions and less healing time, but it may also lead to greater patient access to the best doctors. Currently, skilled surgeons who manipulate machines in relative close proximity to patients conduct robotic surgery. But there’s no reason to think that within a few years, a British patient in need of heart surgery may be “operated on” by a Japanese doctor who specializes in the field.

3 Fertilizable Mouse Eggs

We are probably only a generation away from being able to create human life outside of the womb. Yes, this is a terrifying prospect and not necessarily an avenue we want to travel down, being as we have seen “Blade Runner,” but scientists have successfully created viable, fertilizable mouse eggs using stem cells. Genetically speaking, human eggs are not a whole lot different from mouse eggs, so there you go.

2 Prosthetic Limbs

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Mind-controlled bionic prosthetics might sound like the name of a B-movie from the 1970s, but it is actually a rapidly emerging field of medical technology. Plural patients who have either lost limbs in traumatic events or have lost the use of certain body parts due to paralysis have been able to successfully control prosthetic, robotic appendages using electrodes hooked to their brains. Some of the success stories are not only amazing from a scientific standpoint, but also pretty goddamned heartwarming.

1 Face Transplants

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We’re all pretty used to transplant surgery these days, what with livers and kidneys and even hearts being routinely implanted within patients. But face transplants? That is amazing, Sci-Fi-come-to-life stuff! And up until the 21st century, a facial transplant was indeed the stuff of mere conjecture and John Woo movies. But since the year 2005, when the first partial facial transplant was conducted, there have been several successful operations.

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