Importance of biomedical science
What do the first successful heart transplant, first synthetic gene, artificial hip replacement and vitamin supplement have in common?
they are all life-changing medical breakthroughs that have been discovered and developed as a result of biomedical science.
It is thanks to biomedical science that mysteries of the human body are solved and cures to human disease are discovered.
It is the backbone of medical advancement, but sometimes despite its importance, understanding of the true significance of biomedical science is limited.
Biomedical science has a long history.
In 1538, andreas Vesalius took a bold but game-changing step to dissect a human body and discovered human anatomy, blood and the nervous system.
William harvey in 1628 discovered blood circulation and the heart as the organ responsible for pumping the blood.
In the 1840s, scientists discovered that chemicals can be used as anaesthetics, making it possible to perform surgery without pain. In 1895, X-rays were invented. In 1920, penicillin was discovered.
Many do not realise the role universities played in this.
they have a significant part in conducting research that has led to these discoveries.
Understanding health through medical research has been a key endeavour of Newcastle University since 1834.
Its renowned biomedical research strengths have revolutionised the treatment of disease and health care.
In fact, it is the first institution in Britain to be given permission to pursue stem-cell research.
this year alone, researchers at the university have made several significant breakthroughs.
In March, they discovered that people born with a rare chromosomal abnormality have a 2,700fold increased risk of developing a rare form of childhood cancer, called acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
Scientists say the finding could result in better treatment for other types of cancer, as the abnormalities are more common in some types of the illness.
In the same month, another group of biomedical scientists made a unique discovery that could help in the fight against obesity.
they found that seaweeds are most effective at preventing us from absorbing fat. Its potential as a food supplement is being investigated.
Last month, scientists were able to restore the ability to grasp with a paralysed hand using spinal cord stimulation for the first time.
the discovery opens up the possibility of new treatments within the next few years which could help stroke victims or those with spinal cord injuries regain some movement in their arms and hands.
Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed) chief executive officer and Provost Professor Reg Jordan said: “Modern medicine is constantly evolving and the role of biomedical science is crucial.
“In Malaysia, it is more exciting than ever to be in the field of biomedical science because it is an important part of the country’s growth into a global health care player and a biotech giant.”
this is just one of the reasons that NUMed introduced its Biomedical Sciences (BSc) programme last year at its state-of-the-art campus in Nusajaya.
the course mirrors the highly successful programme offered at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University, Britain.
In fact, it is split into two parts, the first comprising two academic years at the NUMed campus, and the second comprising a year-long intensive research project in the Newcastle University Medical School in Britain.
For details, look out for the British Council’s advertisement on NUMed in this StarSpecial.
First-year students of the Biomedical Sciences (BSc) programme in NUMed.