Applications of Evolution

Evolution has many potential applications most prominently shown in finding potential cures for diseases such as HIV / AIDS, ebola, and even cancer. Evolutionary application is also being used on a daily basis in order to develop vaccinations against a plethora of disease, such as the flu and meningitis. A third main application of evolution is that being used in gene therapy.

Evolution can be used to study how diseases came to be. This can be applied to finding a path to a potential cure. For instance, the retrovirus AIDS has clearly evolved to be resistant against all forms of treatment currently available in today’s world. However, with further study of the evolution of the disease, it is very possible for scientists to develop a substance to either stop the spread of AIDS through the body, or to cure it all together. The same can also be said for HIV, the parent virus of AIDS. But the research does not stop there. The application continues with cancer. Scientists research how cancer evolves in order to try and find a stop to it.

A second application of evolution regards vaccinations. In order for vaccinations to be effective, evolution must be understood. This is most clearly evident regarding the flu. The flu virus is constantly evolving, and as such, new vaccines must be developed every year. If the developers did not study the evolution of the virus, the vaccination would not be effective. This was most clearly shown through the H1N1 outbreak in which the typical flu vaccination had no effect whatsoever.

Yet another application of evolution is that regarding gene therapy. The years have shown that most organisms have evolved in recent generations, and not in a positive way. Many new mutations have come to be, and previously rare mutations have become more prevalent as they have been passed from parent to offspring. This can be applied to the development of gene therapy, which may be able to alter the genes to a “normal” state in the near future.

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