The scientific community was stirred up a bit in the last couple of weeks. Namely, scientists at the Scripps Research Institute made a great step forward by discovering TZAP. The Telomeris Zinc finger-Associated Protein or TZAP for short is a specific telomere-associated protein. Its job is to fine-tune the cellular aging process. It happens because this protein binds the ends of chromosomes together, thus determining how long the telomeres can be. It is a very important process because telomeres are the key to cellular longevity, they determine how long a cell will endure. Also, another key aspect of their role for the human body is that they influence the incidence of cancer.
TZAP will help us to allow for telomeres to get sufficiently long, without developing cancerous cells. This discovery came as a bit of a surprise because scientists believed that the only proteins with the role of limiting the length of telomeres were a special enzyme and the Shelterin complex. This discovery might give us the edge to fight aging and allow humans to lead longer and healthier lives. Perhaps we will all be able to reach the 100-year mark while staying healthy and productive.
It is only one of the achievements experts in the field of biotechnology and medicine have reached. Discoveries like these can have a tremendous effect on mankind, and we were witnesses to many similar breakthroughs in the past year. One of these was the discovery and creation of immune cells that can target cancer cells. These cells were engineered using the CRISPR-Cas9 genetic tool, and the cells showed good results fighting lung cancer.
When it comes to biotech, we have seen the development of an artificial hand. This hand allows the user to operate it with his brain alone. If that does not impress you, the fact that scientists added pressure sensors so the user can have touch feedback surely will. Not only that, the pressure can be individualized to each finger. We can expect other artificial limbs shortly.
You can see that 2016 was a year of revolutionary new discoveries and developments as well as refinements in medical advances we have come to expect as normal such as pacemakers and cosmetic dentistry. We expect to see much more in 2017.