Originally posted by e4chris
Back when I went to university, there was quite a lot of interesting work being done on human animal transplants. Pigs in particular. The Uni I went to bread mice with human immune systems for tests.
The problem cited with pigs was they have there own viruses and it could be catastrophic if one crossed the species barrier. Like bird flu but a worse disea r)
Are there some diseases we shouldn't cure? What do you think is holding back this work?
Now THAT would be quite a chimera: Bread mice
Seriously, there are diseases that seem to protect some other part of the body, and some are quite subtle, but work not done in the UK will be done elsewhere. Look at the stupidity going on in the US, where evolution theory is fought tooth and nail even though the study of evolution can lead to many answers about diseases in humans and animals. Yet these religious right wing young Earther asssholes want to shut down research on evolution and concentrate on making bigger churches. It's no wonder the US is falling behind in total papers written now and our educational system is something like # 30 in the world.
A lot of diseases are caused by proteins and RNA not folding right, so there is a whole scientific discipline revolving around the computer analysis of what makes for proper folding. That is the cause of a lot of diseases like Mad Cow and such, it's an improperly folded prion.
Lets face it: Human, animal and plant biology is a dauntingly complex subject and our science is still rather primitive even though we are curing more and more diseases today than 50 years ago.
We still cannot cause a finger to regrow even though some amphibians do it all the time. Regeneration is another area of science that billions are being spent on and now the relationship between genes is a hot science, where the study of the non encoding sections of genes are now revealing themselves to have active roles to play in the expression of proteins and such. Everything in biology is new, we are only scratching the surface of the knowledge we need to fix all the ills the human body can come up with.
Even 100 more years of solid research will not be enough to suss out everything.
My guess is if we manage to keep our civilization going as it has been in terms of scientific research, maybe in 500 years we will be curing all the major ills of today.
Having said that, there will always be a fight to the death involving the evolution of viruses that become ever more virulent over time. That is a fight that will be with us even 1000 years from now. Those little buggers never give up!