Similar to technology, medicine is constantly developing and evolving. The more it advances, the more breakthroughs are reported every year. In 2014, humankind witnessed some impressive and inspiring medical and health findings that will have a lasting imprint on our lives.
First Skill Transplantation Becomes a Reality Thanks to 3D Printer
3D printing technology did not only make its way to the mass consumer market, it also found application in the medical world as well. This May, surgeons from the Netherlands successfully carried out the first complete skull transplantation in world. To do that, the team of medical professionals used a special 3D printed piece. The surgery was 100% successful!
Longest Persevered Lungs Outside a Human Body
For organ transplantation procedures, the organ needs to be transported as fast as possible to the recipient patient. That is due to the fact that it can be fully preserved for a very limited time. Scientists from Belgium, however, introduced a new machine that successfully preserved donor lungs outside a body for over 11 hours and were then transplanted to a patient. The revolutionary piece of technology achieved that by supplying the organs with oxygen. The device has already been approved for use in Australia and Europe. The United States will also start testing the machine in 2015.
Heart Transplant from a Cadaver
If you think that the previous medical breakthrough was impressive, you might find it hard to believe what you are about to read now. A basic rule in the field of body transplantation is that the organ must be taken from a donor that is still alive. Well, not anymore. Just a weeks ago, a team of doctors in Australia brought cadavers’ hearts back to life. Again, a new machine was used in the processes, which supplied the organs with oxygen. The dead hearts were also injected with a preservation solution and that made them beat again 20 minutes after they have stopped.
Bionic Eye Restores Sight
“The Bionic Woman” might be only a science fiction TV show from the 1970s, but in 2014, the world got is first bionic man… sort of. A 66-year-old blind man to improve his sight. The man underwent a procedure in which scientists transplanted a new-generation of bionic eye in him. Not long after that, the patient managed to see light after more than three decades of complete darkness. That may not sound like much, it is a one-of-a-kind breakthrough.
Measles Vaccine Battles Cancer
Who would have thought that a vaccine for measles could be an effective solution for treating cancer patients. This year, a patient suffering from blood cancer was given an overdose of measles vaccine. That managed to kill her cancerous cells and the woman went into complete remission.
Prosthesis That Translates Muscle Signals into Movement
The world’s most complex prosthesis was also introduced this year. It is a prosthesis that can convert electrical signals from a person’s muscles into movement. This new prosthesis technology enables people with specific types of amputations to perform much more complex tasks with great precision. In addition, it even imitates an arm’s natural motion.
Hopefully, 2014 will not only be remembered with the Ebola outbreak, but also with these inspiring medical breakthroughs.