Dr. Kathy Maupin and Dr. Brett Newcomb continue their conversation about recent advances in stem cell research in the attempt to create super athletes. They also discuss the potential medical advantages that these advances might make available.
This week, Brett and I are continuing the conversation that we began in last week’s podcast. It is based on an article in the August 2013 edition of Men’s Journal. The article was entitled, “Building The New Super Athlete: How Medical Technology is Reengineering the Human Body for Optimal and Mostly Legal Performance.” We want to continue our discussion by addressing the topics of Biofeedback. Biofeedback is Nobel Prize-winning research on telomeres that resulted in a product called “TA-65,” which consists of the use of hyperbaric chambers to fluctuate the body’s exposure to different air pressure densities, the use of super-cooled chambers to reduce body core temperatures, and the use of gene-splicing techniques aimed at putting gene sections into a virus that can be inserted into the human body to be replicated and grow muscle strength.
These techniques are fascinating for many reasons, especially because of the impact that they can have on high-level athletic competitions. The various regulatory agencies and committees monitoring professional athletics are very concerned about the use of these techniques. Which of these techniques, if any, will enable an individual to perform optimally, and which will offer unfair competitive advantages? How can we move forward in maximizing the performance and competitiveness of our top athletes and yet not enable cheating?
Also fascinating is the potential for this research to spill over and provide treatment strategies and methodologies for dealing with illnesses such as Multiple Sclerosis.Can we use mechanical feedback systems to help us train our bodies through the use of biofeedback as a pain reliever for chronic issues? Can we learn to regulate our blood pressure to avoid strokes? What other uses can be developed to reduce or contain anxiety or depression or other illnesses? How should this be regulated? Does it need regulation at all? Can these various systems (the hyperbaric chamber, the chillier, etc.) help us to treat medical problems or illnesses? Are there productive uses that can arise from serendipity?
All of these questions and more are discussed in today’s conversation, please listen and see what you think.