30 years and counting: Where we've been, where we're headed

Published: March, 2014

The inaugural issue of the Harvard Health Letter was published in November 1975, 30 short years ago. We were in the infancy of the "genetic engineering" revolution back then. Medical science had just recently figured out how to manipulate DNA and determine the structure of individual genes. We could start imagining a future in which genetic defects might be corrected before they did harm.

Three decades ago, we suspected that the body might have natural mechanisms for protecting itself against diseases. Now advances in immunology have started to allow us to harness those mechanisms. And the discovery of stem cells is opening the door to other means for "natural" healing.

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