Top Healthcare-Related Scientific Discoveries of 2013

Healthcare-related breakthroughs dominated Wired magazine's list of the top scientific discoveries of 2013.

Genome editing. In January, researchers announced the development of a new method of genome editing that has the potential to more quickly and more precisely identify and correct disease-causing genetic mutations. The new system uses RNA to detect a specific DNA sequence and enzymes to remove the harmful mutations and replace them with healthy DNA.

Transparent tissue for better imaging. Using a series of chemical treatments developed in April, researchers are now able to make living tissue almost completely transparent for imaging purposes, including brain tissue. The new system is expected to be used to help scientists better understand the underlying causes of neurological diseases.

Organ creation using stem cells. Several research teams have made progress in using stem cells to engineer working human organs. In Europe, researchers were able to help stem cells form various structures, including one that resembled a fetal brain. In Japan, researchers used stem cells to develop functional human liver tissue.  

Implantable electronics. This year, several developments paved the way for a future of medical devices worn inside the body. This new technology includes biodegradable circuits that use heat to destroy microbes to electronic tattoos with biosensors and transmitters.

More Articles on Scientific Discoveries:

Personalized Medicine at Its Best
Medical Research to Feel the Sting of Government Shutdown Through Spring, But Sequestration Hurts Medical Discovery Even More
How Ideas Become Innovations: Roundtable With Healthcare Innovation Leaders From UCLA, Ohio State

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