Achievements in Medicine in the Last Century
The medical field is very important because it carries the future of health in the world and it therefore is in constant researches to make relevant achievements. There are two great developments that have taken place in this field over the last century which includes development of penicillin, and most recently, the development of leukemia vaccine. Penicillin was developed in 1928 by Alexander Fleming after he accidently discovered that it inhibited vegetation of bacteria and this was the beginning of the antibiotic. It is important to note that it has had to go many manipulations because it was quite unstable. On the other hand, the vaccine for leukemia has been developed purposely from normal cells so that they can act as a flag for the immune system to identify and destroy cancerous cells.
One thing that should be understood before into details about penicillin is that not all bacteria are bad even though some have a propensity to threaten the life of an individual. Some are needed by the body such as E. coli. At around the Second World War, there was interest into developing penicillin antibiotics and this has led from what was initially discovered by Fleming to other classifications with the same action but somehow different in their general structure which includes cephalosporins, erythoromycins, tetracyclines and aminoglucosides (Bud 5). It should be noted that the mechanism of action of the penicillin is via use of selective toxicology where they will attack the harmful bacteria but do not have an effect on the human cells (De la Bédoyère).
The vaccine for leukemia is one of the most important developments in the recent past that has great potential for saving the lives of the many people that die from the disease globally. The condition is cancerous where there is uncontrolled growth of cells in the bone marrow and the blood and therefore the body becomes accumulated with these cells that have a survival more than the normal cells in the body (Mitchell 2). It is important to note that most of the patients that are diagnosed with this condition die within five years of the diagnosis. The vaccine, developed by researchers at the kings’ college in London has involved the removal of cells from the bone marrow of the patient. The cells are then changed so that when they are reintroduced in the body, they act as a flag to warn the immune system of cancerous cells, and therefore the body can fight the disease. It should be noted that research on the vaccine for this disease has been ongoing and this is what has been achieved so far (Mitchell 2). There are four types of leukemia, all of which will be vaccinated against using the same technique. These types includes acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), chronic myelogenous leumemia (CML), and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Some of them affect adults while some will be diagnosed early in life, even at infancy.
As has been shown by the two innovations in the world of medicine, some developments will be accidental while some will be purpose oriented. The most important thing is that they all need to go under certain transformations, either genetically or structurally with the aim of improving the functionality. For instance, the accidental discovery of penicilium moulds on the bread by Fleming changed the direction that the search for antibiotics was taking and even paved way for further research that facilitated the other types of penicillin. On the other hand, the vaccine for leukemia has been there for quite some time, which means that it has been purpose oriented. Research never ceases but continues in order to come up with the best solution.