Medicine

Healthy is the new trend

One-hundred years

This is how long the millennial generation from developed countries will live, and we owe it to the improvements of science and technology.
We live longer, and we get older and older. But what can we do to also have a healthier, better life?
Cardiovascular, oncological and neurodegenerative diseases are the new big threats, and open up new challenges for medicine. By now, we know exactly how our body and its organs work from a macroscopic perspective, but what happens at the level of each single cell? Every one of us is an individual with its own, unique DNA which interacts with the environment: life style, infections, nutrition, and other aspects, combined together can lead to personal risks of developing cancers or having a heart attack, or to different responses to the molecules that make our foods and medicines. That is why some people get heavier side effects or show resistance to certain therapies. For this reason, medicine has lately shifted from the concept of "one cure for all" to the concept of personalized and molecular medicine, tailored to each person’s DNA. Moreover, this new way of doing medicine has made blooming professions possible in medical practice, which does only include doctors and nurses anymore, but also data analysts, cultural mediators, biotechnologists, bioinformaticians and medicine communicators.

The course will start with classical notions learned in high schools, and will then dig deeper into personalized cures and intelligent drugs designed to destroy sick cells without affecting healthy tissues, in other words, to cure better and with less side effects. After this, we will also get a glimpse of the technology behind medicine: what are next generation sequencing and bioinformatics, and how can we learn these technologies? What does Big Data analysis mean in practice? What IT skills are needed to perform this, and where are they required in the medical labor market? How can we use 3D printing and nanotechnologies for medicine?
We will also focus on the ethical dimension of medical practice: how is all the DNA data stored? Who will access such private and fundamental individual information? How far can we go with genome editing and what does this mean for the concept of our own identity? Can we apply our attitude for humanities in new medical professions such as ethics and lifestyle coaching? As young men and women, future scientists, medical professionals, and before any of this, as citizens, these are important questions that we should all think about while approaching medicine and all its scientific, social and ethical implications in everyday life.

Want to discover more about this all? Come and join our interactive medicine course, with STEM for YOUTH!