Biotechnology Advancements in China

Photo by Irina Iriser on Pexels.com

Today, China is leading the world in this field of research and applications. More than a billion dollars poured into the country to fund the research of several drug developers.

Biotechnology is a branch of applied science that deals with life. Nanobots, medicines, cell implants, in-utero pregnancy—all of these are products of biotechnology.

Despite the trade wars happening between the United States and China, there is little concern about how it is going to affect the biotech industry in China because it is a necessity. People will always need affordable and cheap medication; no trade war can stop that.

There are many things that Chinese experts are involved in. But here, we will be taking a peek at the two most important that can have a direct impact to the life of the average Joe.

Gene Editing

Gene editing was discovered in a lab in China. Experts found out that the human brain can recognize these changes, and can apply these changes to the human function. For an experiment, a team modified the gene of a human embryo by using the same gene editing tool which can repair plant and animal cells—the CRISPR/Cas9.

A total of 86 embryos with a defective gene were used. The defective gene causes a blood disease.

The result? A majority of the human embryos accepted the edited gene, which was used to replace defective genes.

The Purpose

The purpose of this biotechnology is to find out if we can remove some human genes that have gone wrong over the years. Examples are genes that cause, well, genetic diseases such as intellectual disability, down syndrome, chromosome abnormality, and many more.

The Impact

Can you imagine what this will do? We will no longer have genetic diseases. You can guarantee that abnormalities such as dwarfism can be eliminated even before your baby is born. You can reduce the risk of cancer, and diabetes, and no longer have to worry about human conditions that are pre-ordained by genetic properties.  

Cancer Therapy

China is now the leading country in cancer treatment. Specifically, the technology is called the Car-T.

Car-T is part of cancer research and treatment method where adoptive cell transfer is used to cure cancer. Essentially, the doctors are going to use a patient’s own immune cells to fight the cancer cells within the body.

For years, research about this is minimal, but it was China that put this therapy back into the spotlight when doctors from the country cured the blood cancer of one patient name Craig Chase.

Today, there are over 117 ongoing clinical trials in the country, and it has produced positive results in both children and adults.

Today, it is not yet fully understood how this biotechnology can be used to combat more advanced forms of cancer such as breast cancer.

The Purpose

The Car-T has positive results in people with leukemia and other forms of blood cancer. The research is now advancing as to how it can be used to other forms of cancer and transferrable diseases such as AIDS.

The Impact

The one positive impact of this technology is to find a cure that works. Today, Car-T is a therapy that is used widely in the U.S. and other countries but only for specific types of cancer. In the future, the technology can prove to be useful in using a patient’s own immune system to recognize HIV and cancer cells and fight them instead of allowing them to replicate.

Summary

China is at the forefront of biotechnology. What was once a backward country is now dominating an important aspect of human life—health, so much so that many start-ups in the country have secured funding in various financial methods, mostly through stock IPOs.

In the end, all these investments can change human lives drastically, and we can finally say goodbye to the many illnesses.