These companies affect our health and wellbeing on a daily basis. How? When we swallow an aspirin, take antibiotics for a bacterial infection, or use sunscreen to protect against skin cancer, these products are the direct result of what these companies have accomplished in terms of research and development over the last century. Life Science is not just about medical research. It encompasses a broad range of activities from developing drugs to manufacturing enzyme-based detergents. Here is what these companies do to improve our health and well-being.
Create New Drugs
One of the primary activities of these companies in developing and manufacturing new drugs for a wide range of diseases and conditions. Diabetes, asthma, Alzheimer’s, MS (Multiple Sclerosis) are just some examples that clearly illustrate the need for research into improved treatments to alleviate these problems. Two primary approaches have been used in creating these drugs: modifying enzymes or finding small molecules with desired characteristics.
Modifying enzymes has proven to be more successful than finding small molecules because it has allowed scientists greater control over how the drug works in our system and also shortened processing time from several years to only months – another example of improving health within our timescale.
Develop Safer Food Products
Food safety is another important area of research for these companies, where they work to ensure that all the food we eat is safe and free from contamination or unwanted toxins. In addition to creating new foods with desired characteristics (e.g., vitamin-enhanced fruits), these companies are also responsible for detecting and removing harmful bacteria in our food supply.
Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella Typhimurium, Campylobacter jejuni, E .coli 0157:H7, etc., are just a few examples of dangerous bacteria that can contaminate meat and poultry products, leading to food poisoning. Fortunately, the efforts of life science companies combined with stricter government regulations have contributed to a significant decrease in these and other harmful bacteria on our food supply. This way, the food we eat is safer and healthier.
Also is the improved food packaging. Meals packaged with preservatives, additives, thickeners, sweeteners, and other ingredients may not be as healthy as we think they are because several studies have shown that they can lead to weight gain by disrupting our hormone balance, enhance the risk for diabetes and heart disease. Some of these companies are currently researching ways to reduce or eliminate these chemicals in foods so that people have a more healthy choice when choosing their meals in restaurants.
Fight Emerging Diseases
Emerging infectious diseases have been on the rise in recent years as a result of increasing global travel, including viruses such as Zika, HIV, Ebola, and malaria. Being able to quickly identify these new diseases allows companies to develop treatments faster than ever before because they can use human proteins or antibodies that are already known to treat certain infections. For example, the recent emergence of the Zika virus has generated new interest in developing a vaccine for it. Research into this virus is now taking place at a faster pace than ever before.
Vaccines have been used for years to prevent diseases such as measles, mumps, and rubella. These companies are responsible for making these vaccines. Through the use of specially designed viruses that do not cause disease in healthy people, they are able to train our immune system to recognize these harmful viruses and eradicate them from the body before we contract these infections.
Provide Biotechnical Tools
These companies also provide us with biotechnology tools that we use every day at home: PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) is an important technique used in molecular biology laboratories around the globe in order to speed up the process of copying DNA samples. LCR (Liquid Crystal Razor) is used by dermatologists in order to shave unwanted hair on a more regular basis than conventional razors.
Cleaner Living Conditions
Then, many of these companies work to improve the environment we live in through their research into enzymes that break down toxic chemicals or pathogens in water supplies. The need for this type of development increased significantly after the industrial revolution when factories began producing waste products that were extremely dangerous to us and even sometimes fatal – think back 100 years and you’ll recall hearing about children being poisoned by drinking lead-containing water from old pipes.
Fortunately, things have changed drastically for the better thanks to enzyme technology, where scientists can now use natural (not genetically engineered) enzymes derived from certain bacteria’s ability to breakdown all types of complex molecules with high precision at
Gene therapy is another area of research in which these companies have had significant success. This approach is used in the treatment of cancers and genetic disorders such as sickle cell anemia and hemophilia, where our cells are unable to produce or do not respond properly to critical proteins. The main objective of gene therapy is to provide these missing genes to our cells so that they can function normally again. In essence, this approach improves our health by improving the health of our cells – a key concept in understanding how these companies improve our health and well-being on a daily basis.
Improve Our Environment
Finally, these companies have developed new technologies that benefit our environment. These include pharmaceuticals used in pest control (i.e., pesticides), biodegradable plastics produced from renewable resources, bactericides, and other types of cleaners that break down into harmless natural materials vs. remaining as a hazardous waste product or residue in the environment. Another example is using salt-tolerant plants in highway medians and on-road cuts to prevent erosion, which has been known to worsen flooding problems caused by runoffs during storms in areas near highways and busy roadsides due to excessive rainfall or melting snow/ice during the winter months.
There are many other examples of how life science companies improve our health and well-being on a daily basis. The rise of pharmaceutical companies that developed new drugs in the early 20th century led the way, paving the way for biotechnology research in later years with powerful tools like gene therapy and genetic engineering. Nowadays, we can see the fruits of their labor in terms of vaccines, newer drugs that do not cause as many side effects, or even immunotherapies, which have greatly improved in recent years. This is what these companies do every day and why it’s important to remember how they contribute directly to our health.
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