New Problems and Solutions
Pp. 494-537 (44)
Robert E. Smith
Many new phenomena emerge at higher levels of organization. For example,
it is possible that the virus causes the flu in birds or pigs will mutate to a form that can
easily infect and kill people. In addition, as the global climate continues to change,
several tropical diseases could appear as cooler regions warm up as the habitats of the
carriers of tropical diseases like dengue and yellow fevers spread. It is also possible
that the poliovirus or smallpox virus could re-emerge, even though they have been
almost eradicated. On the other hand, scientists are creating new, genetically altered
life forms, in which some consider an emergent solution, while others consider genetic
engineering to be a terrible problem. Scientists use genetic modification (GM),
biotechnology, gene splicing and recombinant DNA technology. At the same time,
nanotechnology has the potential to turn relatively inactive molecules into potent drugs.
Stem cell technology may aslo be able to provide many medical benefits. More
recently, there has been a shortage of some important prescription drugs. This can
continue to happen if a major producer has problems in manufacturing and has to stop
production for a while, or if there is not enough profit to be made and they shut down
production. As a result, patients may experience unacceptable delays in receiving 210
different medicines for cancer, anesthesia Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia,
osteoporosis and organ failure. Finally, the ebola virus has emerged as a new problem,
so therapies and vaccines are being developed.
Ebola virus, Emergent properties, Genetic modification, Global
Park University, Parkville, USA.