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The Lucky Years

How to Thrive in the Brave New World of Health

By Dr. David B. Agus
15-minute read
Audio available
The Lucky Years: How to Thrive in the Brave New World of Health by Dr. David B. Agus

The Lucky Years (2016) is your guide to understanding the cutting-edge developments in medical science which are addressing society’s most pressing health problems. While advances in genetics may seem to be the key to curing cancer, infertility and aging, these blinks show that simple, sensible health strategies may more effectively improve the health and happiness of the world’s population.

  • Medical students and practitioners interested in recent medical developments
  • Patients looking to manage chronic ailments
  • Health nuts eager for new methods to optimize daily well-being

Dr. David B. Agus is a medical doctor and engineer, known as one of America’s leading oncologists. He has founded a number of medical companies focused on offering personalized medication. He is also the author of other books such as The End of Illness and A Short Guide to a Long Life.

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The Lucky Years

How to Thrive in the Brave New World of Health

By Dr. David B. Agus
  • Read in 15 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 9 key ideas
The Lucky Years: How to Thrive in the Brave New World of Health by Dr. David B. Agus
Synopsis

The Lucky Years (2016) is your guide to understanding the cutting-edge developments in medical science which are addressing society’s most pressing health problems. While advances in genetics may seem to be the key to curing cancer, infertility and aging, these blinks show that simple, sensible health strategies may more effectively improve the health and happiness of the world’s population.

Key idea 1 of 9

Advances in genetics may give us tools to defeat cancer, but using such tools is still risky.

When Apple’s Steve Jobs was diagnosed with cancer, he sought out every possible cure for his illness.

Author Dr. David Agus was part of the medical team in 2007 that tried to return Jobs to health, using a cutting-edge approach to genetics.

By sequencing cancerous cells, scientists can identify the areas of a cell’s DNA that cancer seeks out and damages. This, in turn, allows doctors to prescribe cancer medication that is highly specific, targeting only the defects revealed by cell analysis.

Unfortunately, cancer is cunning. Damaged cells can mutate and render prescribed drugs ineffective. A new analysis and course of medication then have to be developed, and the process repeats itself.

Ultimately, Agus’s team was unable to save Jobs’s life. But their work marked the beginning of a journey into the possibilities of genetic medicine.

One gene editing tool is leading the way, called CRISPR: Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats.

In the near future, CRISPR could allow scientists to effectively delete a specific gene that is involved in the functioning of a person’s immune system, the CCR5 gene. Doing so could make a person immune to HIV, for example, protecting them from contracting AIDS.

The risk is that such genetic modifications are permanent. The genetic strand that carries the CCR5 gene could mutate, for example, making a person more likely to contract other diseases, such as the West Nile Virus.

There is still too much we don’t know about the dangers of gene editing to use such tools in treating patients. But new developments and research may change that.

For example, cancer isn’t the only area of study that has captured the imagination of genetic scientists. Researchers are also making new discoveries in the biology of human aging.

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