Prosthetics & Genetics

Modern Medical Technology

Guiding Question

How has technology evolved over time to affect medicine and people's lives?


Every day, new inventions are helping to better our lives. With the help of technology, the deaf have been able to hear and the sightless are able to see.

This paper focuses on two types of medical technology: genetics and prosthestics.

Genetics - The science of heredity, dealing with resemblances and differences of related

organisms resulting from the interaction of their genes and the environment.

Prosthetics - A device, either external or implanted, that substitutes for or supplements a missing or defective part of the body.


In the late 1400's, one of the first prosthetics was invented. Most of the devices that were made went to soldiers in the army. In the early days of development a prosthetic was made of heavy equipment such as springs, steel, iron, copper, and wood. Recent technology has made it possible to reduce the weight of prosthetics by over one third. Prosthetics are now made with fiberglass, plastic, and light metals helping them to be much more comfortable than ever before.

New Inventions


Human Genome Project

The Human Genome Project's mission is to identify all of the genes in the human body and DNA. Researchers believe that all viruses and diseases are in one way or another connected to genetics. They figure that if all genes are identified many diseases could be cured. DNA is made up of nucleic acids that form your mental and physical characteristics. All genes are unique which is why no one is exactly the same. As a result of this researchers and scientists believe that discovering all genes will be very difficult.

Gene Therapy and Engineering

Genetic engineering is widely used to make drugs such as insulin or growth hormones by manipulating the DNA. Many people can't produce these hormones so genetic engineering helps them live long and healthy lives. Gene therapy helps when a baby has certain defects that would limit its chances of survival due to genes. In gene therapy an altered virus is introduced to a cell and injects its own DNA into the cell. This method of treatment naturally alters the cell and fixes problems in the genes.


With many new inventions and technologies the world of medical knowledge has increased drastically. For the first time, people with missing or damaged limbs are able to control those parts of their body with their mind. Also, researchers are on their way to identifying every gene in the human body. Building on our knowledge of the human body has helped to improve people's lives and our intelligence for the future.