Skip to main content

Biomedical Science

Biomedical Science

The Lancet...2
Head and Upper Body...4
Rabies Vaccination in Pasteur's Clinic in Paris...9
Letter to Lord Chamberlain Hugo Radolinski...11
Hand with Ring...13
This Day Relenting God...15
Robert Koch Identifies the Bacteria that Cause Anthrax, Tuberculosis, and Cholera...17
The Internal Secretion of the Pancreas...20
On Individual Differences in Human Blood...23
A Strong Nation is a Healthy Nation...26
A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid...29
Patient Undergoing a CT Scan...32
Louise Brown and her Parents...34
Pneumocystis Pneumonia—Los Angeles...35
Köhler and Milstein Develop Monoclonal Antibodies...39
Baby Fae Loses Her Battle...41
The Promise of Prozac...45
Animals and Medical Science: A Vision of a New Era...49
Chorionic Villus Sampling and Amniocentesis...54
Prions: Newly Identified Infectious Agent...57
Zoonosis...60
The Sequence of the Human Genome...61
Gene Therapy: Promises and Problems...65
What the Heck is Antibiotic Resistance?...67
Stem Cells: Scientific Progress and Future Research Directions...72
He Never Gave Up...75
Eulogy for Mattie Stepanek...78
Can Gene-Altered Rice Rescue the Farm Belt?...82
Woman Finds Human Finger in Wendy's Chili...85

During most of its history, medicine was practiced as an art, rather than on terms now described as science. During the last two centuries, the practice of medicine has become more closely connected to principles drawn from the scientific method, especially with regard to understanding the molecular underpinnings of disease. Since the birth of a research tradition in the modern era, advances in anatomy, physiology, genetics, immunology, and other of scientific sub-disciplines increasingly define and extend the reach of modern medicine.

Biomedical science serves medical science by allowing physicians to understand the critical processes associated with infectious diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, protozoans, and other microorganisms; the influence of body physiology and biochemistry on the maintenance of health; and the tolerance or immune-related rejection of transplanted tissues. It also offers a foundation to test a person's blood, urine, or tissue for the presence of disease and to develop new techniques to maintain health.

The legacy of biomedical science is long. Dutch scientist Antonio van Leeuwenhoek (1632–1723) first recognized the existence of cells in the fluids and tissues of the human body. Near the dawn of the nineteenth century, those observations allowed Robert Koch (1843–1910) to demonstrate the bacterial nature of diseases like anthrax, tuberculosis, and cholera. Physicians now understand that many types of bacteria cause disease, ranging from the relatively minor discomfort of gastrointestinal upset to the life-threatening release of toxins into the bloodstream, as in blood poisoning, or septicemia.

Viral diseases, including influenza, avian flu, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV/AIDS), Ebola viral hemorrhagic fever, rabies, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), also carry significant medical, social, political, and economic impacts. They hold the potential to reshape how modern society adapts to a shrinking global village.

Biomedical science is concerned with detecting diseases by a number of methods. In many diseases, like cancer, early detection can save a person's life. In this regard, the use of noninvasive imaging techniques such as positron emission spectroscopy (PET), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT) have allowed diagnosis without the need for exploratory surgery.

In 2003, scientists working on the Human Genome Project finished mapping the entire human sequence of genes. This holds great potential to revolutionize the prevention and treatment of illnesses by the use of gene therapy, in which a healthy gene can replace a damaged one in a sick person. A related type of therapy, stem cell therapy, may also hold great potential in the treatment of disease. Fetal stem cells function as a precursor to a variety of tissues in a developing human. Bone marrow and umbilical cord blood contain adult stem cells.

Many social controversies revolve around biomedical science. Stem cell research, for example, is both politically and socially sensitive in many countries, especially in the United States. How to treat millions of people in Africa who are infected with HIV/AIDS, where whole communities are affected and poverty is widespread, is another contentious issue. How humans around the globe deal with these issues will impact the world over the next century.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Biomedical Science." Medicine, Health, and Bioethics: Essential Primary Sources. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Biomedical Science." Medicine, Health, and Bioethics: Essential Primary Sources. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 16, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/medical-magazines/biomedical-science

"Biomedical Science." Medicine, Health, and Bioethics: Essential Primary Sources. . Retrieved November 16, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/medical-magazines/biomedical-science

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.