• Question: If you could do anything that hasn't been done before using science what would you do

    Asked by teebee on 5 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Kate Timms

      Kate Timms answered on 5 Jun 2019:


      As a pregnancy researcher, I would love to be able to discover a treatment that helps women have the healthiest pregnancies they can. Diseases of pregnancy often make this impossible and this affects both the baby and mother’s health. The most important thing we can do medically for the next generation is to improve health in pregnancy. Being born from a ‘complicated’ pregnancy (that means pregnancy with preeclampsia, gestational diabetes or being born too small or too big etc) increases a babiy’s life-long risk of poor health. They often go on to develop obesity, heart disease and diabetes really young.
      If we can treat this before they’re born by making pregnancies healthier, we can help prevent these diseases in so many people.This would have a huge positive impact not only on those babies but on society itself! It would massively reduce the burden on the NHS and make society healthier.
      That’s why pregnancy research is super important!

    • Photo: Nina Rzechorzek

      Nina Rzechorzek answered on 5 Jun 2019:


      Figure out how brain cell clocks work so that I reprogram my chronotype (whenever I want, and whenever it suits me), without damaging my brain. This should allow us to sleep at times that are most convenient for us, and also help us to treat many brain disorders.

    • Photo: Marianne King

      Marianne King answered on 5 Jun 2019:


      I would cure neurodegenerative diseases if I could! These are diseases where neurons in certain parts of the brain and body die. I find these diseases to be some of the cruelest because they have no treatments and get progressively worse over time. They can be heart-breaking for patients and their families.

    • Photo: Shobhana Nagraj

      Shobhana Nagraj answered on 5 Jun 2019: last edited 5 Jun 2019 5:55 pm


      Great question! If I could do anything in science – I would find a Really Low Cost and Fast way of making sea water into drinkable water, so that everyone worldwide – no matter where they lived, would have access to clean drinking water and clean toilet facilities and so that no one would ever have to die of thirst. Worldwide, millions of people get ill and even die because they don’t have clean water.
      There are countries where sea water is converted to drinking water, but this currently costs a lot of money and takes time. I would use science to make this process faster, cheaper and make sure that the clean water is distributed widely to those who really need it.
      And of course – based on my current work, I would like to make sure that all women are as healthy as possible during and after their pregnancy and ensure they deliver healthy babies.

    • Photo: Ross Hill

      Ross Hill answered on 5 Jun 2019:


      Make blood!!!!

      If I could do anything I would produce a system (probably using some form of stem cell technology) to produce donor blood in the lab! Just imagine having an unlimited source of blood for people to be transfused with in hospitals. It would be more cost-effective than taking millions of pints of blood from donors, transporting it around the country, screening them for HIV/HEP and matching them for patients!

    • Photo: Rebecca Moon

      Rebecca Moon answered on 5 Jun 2019: last edited 5 Jun 2019 8:41 pm


      I would develop chocolate that doesnt make you fat!! This is totally not my expertise (apart from eating it) so I’d have to find some knowledgable scientists to work with, but it could be fun! Anyone want to join my team?

    • Photo: Rachel Hardy

      Rachel Hardy answered on 5 Jun 2019:


      If I could do anything, it would be to find a treatment that is able to effectively kill all cancers (even those that have already spread when discovered) and does not give patients horrible side-effects like chemotherapy. This is a difficult one, as there are so many horrible diseases that affect patients for which we still do not have a cure. However, I would choose cancer because I see and hear of so many innocent people affected by it all the time. These may even be children, who have not even had a chance to properly live their lives yet, people my age, and parents/grandparents of friends. Therefore, a treatment like this would stop the suffering of millions of people on a daily basis, and make a diagnosis of cancer a much less scary prospect.

    • Photo: Alex Blenkinsop

      Alex Blenkinsop answered on 6 Jun 2019:


      I would find a way to break down plastic, as the world is saturated with plastics that do not biodegrade. New materials are currently being developed but we still haven’t found a way to dispose of the millions of tonnes already polluting the ground and oceans.

    • Photo: Thiloka Ratnaike

      Thiloka Ratnaike answered on 6 Jun 2019:


      On a completely fantasy level of research- I would find a way to instill more compassion into the world, by considering a way that science could help people reach a far greater level of mindfulness so that they do less harm to themselves and each other. I think mental health research needs a lot more psychotherapeutic strategies but the first stumbling blocks tend to be participant motivation/insight/resources! So I would love to find a way where science could help unlock a person’s potential for better mental health without drugs!

    • Photo: Ettie Unwin

      Ettie Unwin answered on 7 Jun 2019:


      I’d like to be able to be able to stop disease outbreaks (a few cases of a disease) turning into really big public health emergencies or becoming endemic in a country (regularly found in an area). For some diseases this is possible because we know how to diagnose people, vaccinate or treat people but for others we don’t know much about them so people are clutching at straws to try and stop the disease spreading.

    • Photo: Kaitlin Wade

      Kaitlin Wade answered on 7 Jun 2019:


      Honestly, that’s what I’m trying to do at the moment! I’m trying to figure out if the gut microbiota (the millions and trillions of tiny microorganisms that live within our gut) cause specific diseases using a completely different method that no one has used properly before in my area. If I can find evidence that the gut microbiota either cause or prevent a particular disease then we can use this information to potentially change the gut microbiome in a way that would help us reduce disease in the population and make everyone better.

    • Photo: David Wilson

      David Wilson answered on 10 Jun 2019:


      Your liver has a truly remarkable ability to repair and regenerate itself. It’s the only visceral organ that can do this! If you had 75% of your Liver removed it would still grow back to it’s original size. If we could work out exactly why your liver can do this but other organs like your Brain, Lungs or Heart cant then that would be an amazing discovery!

    • Photo: Matthew Bareford

      Matthew Bareford answered on 11 Jun 2019:


      I would find a cure/treatment for neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimers/dementia/Parkinson’s). Those like Alzheimers and dementia currently have no real cure nor any great treatment and they affect almost everyone in some way. It would be great to find something for this, as it would not only help with that, but it would give us a huge boost in knowledge of the brain and would have impacts for the other brain related issues such as mental health.

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