Sentry Page Protection
Canada Specific Healthcare Question 14
What do you think has been the most important health development in the last 50 years?
I believe that the Human Genome Project has been the most important health development in the last 50 years. Starting in 1990 and having been completed in 2003, this project entailed mapping essentially the entire human genome - specifically 99.99% of it – using bioinformatics. Genetics play an extremely significant role in many health conditions, therefore understanding the genetic makeup of human beings has the potential to aid in the treatment of such disorders. An example of an area of medicine that could see potential benefits as a result of this project is the treatment of cancer. Each type of cancer has a genetic as well as environmental component, due to cancerous cells being programmed to mutate; therefore, recognising the genetic abnormalities in such cells provides the opportunity to create personalised and specific treatment. Haematological malignancies in particular have a highly genetic component and can often be the most detrimental in terms of symptoms and prognosis, thus being able to utilise targeted treatment could save the lives of many patients. I believe that this project acted as a catalyst in paving the way for genetic research, allowing further testing and exploration to take place, rendering it one of the most important scientific milestones achieved by mankind.