Sunday, July 3, 2016

Week 2: Medicine+Technology+Art

In the lecture video by Professor Victoria Vesna, I was introduced to how medicine, technology, and art are related with one another. It was interesting how medicine was first considered as art and an individual using any sort of tools or technology means that the individual is not a doctor. After learning about X-rays and how they came about, I became very intrigued at how far medical technology has advanced.

According to Josep Anton Planell, the director of the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), "in the future, it will be possible to design intelligent biomaterials that, when placed where damaged tissue needs to be regenerated, will be able to stimulate the stem cells to do what we want them to do" (ScienceDaily). The study of stem cells especially piqued my interest when I took Biology in 9th grade. Takanori Takebe and his colleagues in the Department of Regenerative Medicine at Yokohama City University "succeeded in generating mini-livers, or liver buds, from stem cells that were taken from human skin and reprogrammed to an embryonic state" (McGowan). In other words, these individuals were able to create a working organ. I wonder what the future holds. With further research and experiments, would we not be able to just create a new organ for an individual with a failing organ? Can we prolong human life in this way? Can we save more lives?

Here is a video of researchers creating a beating rat heart using stem cells.

However, the research of stem cells comes with some controversial concerns. The way of researching stem cells involved destroying the human embryo. This raised concerns as people began asking "Does life begin at fertilization, in the womb, or at birth? Is a human embryo equivalent to a human child? Does a human embryo have any rights?" (Learn.Genetics). I definitely understand these worries especially since studying human stem cells involves human life.

Overall, it was very interesting to see the relationship of medicine, technology, and art. I still find it fascinating to believe that artists use medical technology to impact art. I am very curious as to what the future holds both for medical technology and for art.

  1. "Advances In Medical Technology: What Does The Future Hold?" ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 June 2009. Web. 03 July 2016.
  2. McGowan, Kat. "Scientists Make Progress in Growing Organs From Stem Cells." Discover Magazine. N.p., 7 Jan. 2014. Web. 03 July 2016.
  3. "The Stem Cell Debate: Is It Over?" The Stem Cell Debate: Is It Over? Learn.Genetics Genetic Science Learning Center, n.d. Web. 03 July 2016.
  4. Vesna, Victoria. "Medicine Pt2." YouTube. YouTube, 21 Apr. 2012. Web. 03 July 2016.
  5. WayCurious. "New Heart Built with Stem Cells." YouTube. YouTube, 27 Apr. 2008. Web. 03 July 2016.
  1. "Medical Technology Shaping the Future of Medicine - Medical News and Technology Advancements." Medical News and Technology Advancements. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 July 2016.
  2. Press, Viva Sarah. "Stem Cells Might Heal Damaged Lungs." Israel21c. N.p., 14 July 2015. Web. 03 July 2016.
  3. Toh, Kheng Ho. "Medical Technology and Corporate Research As Art." 123RF Stock Photos. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 July 2016.
  4. "Why Stem Cells Are a Controversial Topic?" Stem Cells. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 July 2016.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting points in regarding the stem cell research. It has been a long debated topic (and still is) and despite the all the arguments against it, I personally think that the research has some real potential in terms of advancement of human medicine.