Thumbs up or disaster waiting to be redefined? You decide.
Innovations in the health field continue to move forward at a head-spinning pace. But, is this necessarily always a positive? We’d like to share a few examples and let you be the judge…
- Beaming Antibiotics On and Off: The ubiquitous presence of antibiotics throughout our environment has led to an increase in the overgrowth of resistant strains. Today, 80% of all antibiotics sold in the US are given to livestock and poultry to promote growth and prevent disease caused by overcrowding. There are no set limits by the federal government on the amount of drugs permitted in drinking water, and antibiotics seem to be freely doled out in the treatment of viruses and common colds. It’s no wonder we are over-exposed. The development here is that researchers may have found a way to activate and/or neutralize antibiotics by exposing them to light. This means we could reduce antibiotic’s impacts on the environment. The ability to neutralize oral antibiotics could also prove beneficial in preserving the delicate balance of the intestinal microbiome.
- Vibrating Pills: The industry of treating constipation in America exceeds 12 billion dollars. Millions of Americans are clogged up. However, there might a mini, but mighty, answer in the future. A multi-vitamin sized capsule has been developed that contains a mini-engine causing it to vibrate and stimulate defecation. Six hours after ingestion, this pill “turns on” and starts vibrating at the rate of three times per minute. Pilot studies have proven effective; offering an alternative to traditional drug therapies.
- Remote Controlled Birth Control: The concept of family planning might be getting more programmable in the future. Technology has developed a birth control option that comes in a micro-chip and can be implanted once, and turned off and on by a remote-controlled device- providing the user more control in their family planning practices than other birth control methods. The mechanism delivers measured doses of levonorgestrel (an already approved birth control pill) on a daily basis for up to 16 years. This technology may be utilized by millions of women as early as 2018.
There are so many moral, ethical, security and health issues to debate. In whose hands will the remote controls of human physiology ultimately reside? At what point do we decide we’ve crossed the line?
NTI stands for better health through better nutrition. We’re on a mission to teach people how to eat for health and explain the science behind it. We teach the teachers. And the teachers are making a difference. https://ntischool.com
*Original blog written by Darlene Wilkins; September 16, 2014