Strand: Biomedical dilemmas

Science and medicine regularly throw up new possibilities – and new conundrums. Decoding our DNA for the first time took over a decade and cost billions. What does the ability to match our individual DNA to our health records relatively cheaply, as is now possible, mean for the NHS and the future of healthcare? While our understanding of genomics takes shape, how do we get to grips with the nuances of how our ‘bad’ habits affect our health in the meantime? How can we continue to develop new drugs to treat illness - and does the need to make a profit get in the way of progress? Perhaps, as the controversies over everything from vaccines to life-and-death cases of childhood illness illustrate, we are actually losing faith in medical science altogether. If so, why?