Accelerated Medicine

We have been following the progress of a couple of fascinating techniques. The first is a gene editing technique CRISPR Cas9/gRNA therapy. A couple of years ago it seemed a promising technique, but there was talk of “off target mutation” events. Meaning, the wrong gene gets edited — not good. But there has been considerable progress and it now seems like a viable technique with certain illnesses.

The other is genetic testing. 23AndMe completely blew it with the FDA a couple of years ago, so that the only way to get predictive genetic testing if you’re in America, was to send your spit to Europe. But now they have been approved to test for the probability of late stage Alzheimer’s and a couple of other disorders. I could care less about my ancestral makeup, but I really want to know about my genetic predisposition to various genetic factors. Some people say they would rather not know. I’m not one of them. If there is something you can be proactive about, why would you not want to know that?

Keep in mind with genetics, that unlike conventional medicine, it is computationally based — meaning progress is not linear, it’s exponential.  The cost has fallen off a cliff and knowledge has vastly increased. This sort of acceleration in our smartphones and laptops is normal, but when applied to medicine, we don’t really have the historical reference for it. Note to your financial planner:  you may live a whole lot longer than you were planning on.

David Stewart
David is the founder and face of AGEIST. He is an expert on, and a passionate champion of the emerging global over-50 lifestyle. A dynamic speaker, he is available for panels, keynotes and informational talks at david@agei.st.


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