The New Biomedicine: A Critical Appraisal

Barbara B. Knowles, Davor Solter, Surapol Issaragrissil


        Mahidol University’s namesake, H.R.H. Prince Mahidol, stated the University’s universal view of higher
education as follows: ‘True success is not in the learning, but in its application to the benefit of mankind’.1 It is thus fitting that the following commentary speaks to the University’s goal. The acquisition of basic scientific knowledge by scientists working in genetics, embryology, developmental biology, immunology and virology throughout the twentieth century led to its application to clinical problems in the twenty-first. The technology to repair geneticallydeficient pluripotent stem cells, treating diseased adults or ensuring the birth of healthy babies now is almost within our power. However, the application of this knowledge to living organisms, using cells that can mutate and selectively evolve, makes clinical application tricky while social and ethical issues arising from the eventual use of these technologies requires thought. Future attention to trends in basic science research should make stem cell therapy applicable to all.


Biomedicine; critical appraisal

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