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8 medical advances from 2018, which can save your life – BBC News

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This year was very promising for medicine: it was achieved by the return of blindness and paralysis, to progress in areas such as cancer fight and infertility treatment.

The BBC Mundo presents some of the medical milestones achieved in 2018 and will be developed in 2019.

1- Back to Walking

Two groups of scientists have helped paralyzed people go again, stimulating the spinal cord with electrical impulses.

Damage to the spinal cord – a result of a car or a sports accident – prevents the brain's instructions from reaching the muscles and leading to paralysis.

But thanks to some electrical implants In the spinal cord, lost signals could reach their destination.

These techniques are still experimental, but in one case, the patient uses the device in their everyday life.

In another case, there is evidence that damaged nerves in the spinal cord began to regenerates.

2 – Fighting Cancer

Judy Perkins survived breast cancer thanks to pioneering therapy.

Perkins had tumors with a tennis ball size in the liver and secondary cancers throughout the body. Doctors gave him three months to live, while doctors at the National Cancer Institute in the US decided to try a new one "live drugs".

Judy Perkins

Your tumor has been genetically analyzed to identify certain changes that might be visible to your immune system.

Of the 62 found genetic anomalies, only four offer potential lines of attack.

And so did the search.

The patient's immune system attacks the tumor, but white blood cells end up losing the fight against cancer.

What the scientists did was to examine Perkins' white cells and to extract those who are capable of attacking the cancer.

Then they increased in large quantities in the laboratory and injected them into their bodies (nearly 90,000m), along with removing drugs for the immune system.

This new immunotherapy procedure led to Perkins cancer remission.

Another work in the field of immunotherapy against cancer has been won by the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

3 – New uterus, new baby

For the first time, a healthy baby was born from a dead woman's transplanted womb.

Previous attempts failed and, therefore, many thought it would be impossible.

A baby born of a womb donated by a dead woman

The mother, a 32-year-old woman, was born without the uterus due to the Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome, a disease that does not cause either the vagina, the uterus or the uterus to form properly.

The donor had three children and died of cerebral haemorrhage.

The procedure was conducted in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Six weeks after the insertion of the uterus, the patient began to have the period.

Seven months later, fertilized eggs were implanted, and then normal pregnancy, a girl was born with a caesarean section of approximately 2.5 kg.

4- First Babies Genetically Modified (Probably)

A scientist in China has caused the greatest upset in science in the years when he claimed to have created the first genetically modified babies in the world.

Obviously, the twins are in good health.


Embryos are obtained by treatment of assisted fertilization.

Investigator He Jiankui claims to have changed the baby's DNA to protect them from HIV.

However, no details of the procedure have been published, making his statements must be skeptical.

His announcement provoked a profound ethical debate about whether the proceedings should have been done or not.

5 – Look again

Scientists have made outstanding advances in treating the leading cause of blindness in the world: the related macular degeneration, also called maculopathy.

The macula is part of the eye that allows us to see what is in front of us, whether it recognizes faces, watching TV or reading a book.


It is composed of cones and trails that experience light. Behind them is a layer of nutritional cells.

When this layer fails, macular degeneration and blindness occur.

Scientists have discovered how to form a layer of supportive cells and implanted as a patch over the injured layer.

Patients undergoing this treatment they again got a central vision not just for reading, but also to see people who were previously considered blurred.

6 – Laboratory ovaries

A team from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, for the first time developed human ovules in a laboratory.

Women are born with immature eggs in their ovaries that develop completely after puberty.


After decades of work, you can now develop them ovules to maturity outside the ovaries.

This requires rigorous control of laboratory conditions, including levels of oxygen, hormones and proteins that stimulate growth, as well as the medium in which they grow.

Technique can be used to develop new ways of preserving the fertility of girls undergoing cancer treatment.

It also presents an opportunity to investigate and ovules, whose development process still has many issues that science does not respond.

7 – Test for cancer?

Scientists have made an important step towards one of the main goals of medicine: the development of a universal blood test for cancer detection.

A team from Johns Hopkins University in the United States made a test with a method that he discovers eight common forms of the disease.


Tumors release minor traces of their mutated DNA and the proteins they form in the bloodstream.

The CancerSeek test requires mutations in 16 genes that usually occur with cancer and 8 proteins that are usually released from this disease.

The test was tested on more than 1,000 patients with ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreatic, esophagus, colon, lung, and chest tumors that did not spread to other tissues.

The test turned out effective at70% of cancer.

8 – Microbes, a hidden half of our body

The immense importance of microbes to our health is an issue that continues to be explored.

This year, the most common cancer in children is attributed to our contemporary, life without life.


Acute lymphoblastic leukemia affects one in 2,000 children.

Mel Grives, a professor at the UK's Cancer Research Institute, produced 30 years of evidence showing that the immune system can become cancerous if it does not "see" enough microbes from the first stages of life.

The aim of this study is not to accuse parents of being overly clean, but to show what the price of progress in society and medicine is in things such as, for example, drinking water.

The long-term goal is to give children a safe drink of bacteria – in yogurt – so that their immune system can train.

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