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LifeTime concept - the medicine of the future in Europe?


Medical flagship to revolutionize diagnosis and therapies

Making reliable prognoses and diagnoses about diseases, knowing the exact time of the outbreak and predicting the course of the disease - this dream of mankind could soon become a reality if you believe the scientists who have now published a visionary concept for a "medical flagship". Basically, the following aspects should be realized:

  • The diagnosis of numerous diseases is to be improved.
  • New talents and technologies are to be established and promoted.
  • Mechanisms of aging and processes in diseases should be better understood.
  • Individually designed therapies are to be developed.
  • New goals for drug development should be shown.

The application has already been submitted by leading researchers, according to a press release from the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine. The project called LifeTime is waiting to be launched. A European consortium is planning to implement the ambitious project, which is to be funded by one billion euros. In doing so, a medical flagship is to be created that will primarily use the latest technologies in single cell biology.

The book of life

Scientists and the media like to call the genome the “Book of Life”. Those who can “read” it also know how genetic disposition and disease are related. Scientists worldwide are trying to understand how our body cells decode this “book”.

Next generation single cell technology

The so-called omics technologies are experiencing rapid development. With their help, for example, thousands of gene products can be measured using a single tissue sample, where tens of thousands of cells used to be required. The resolutions in the molecular representations now extend to individual cells within tissues and organs.

LifeTime's goal

With the new flagship project, the scientists want to track the molecular composition of human cells in terms of time and space. The aim is to better understand the mechanisms of aging and the processes involved in diseases. To ensure effective collaboration and to better use and establish the new technologies, the scientists created the LifeTime consortium.

Use of artificial intelligence

Experimental model systems are often used in single-cell technologies. Models are used to research how cells stay healthy or get sick and how they react to drugs. Since such experiments generate huge amounts of data, life-time research should use computer-aided strategies that also use machine learning and artificial intelligence. With this combined approach, the researchers want to improve early diagnosis options, set pointers for drug development and enable individual therapies.

Medical technology from all sciences

The LifeTime concept combines technologies from various areas such as biology, computer science, mathematics, pathology, imaging and physics. The LifeTime project is designed to attract new talent and integrate all European scientists who can make an important contribution. The aim of this network is to overcome institutional boundaries, promote young talent and improve the entire infrastructure for the European life sciences. (vb)

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