In 1999, an excited cardiologist made the following predictions for 2009:
[*]The use of cholesterol-controlling statins steadily increased throughout the decade as knowledge of their benefits spread among generalists, prices fell, and generic brands appeared;
[*]•Angiogenesis drugs, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), obviated the need for much bypass surgery by growing new arteries on damaged hearts;
[*]•Anti-angiogenesis drugs (e.g., endostatin), locally implanted in arterial plaque, inhibit its growth;
[*]•Myogenesis drugs rebuild damaged heart muscles;
[*]•Antiglycosylation therapies prevent the cross-linking that weakens aging heart muscle;
[*]•New vaccines raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels to help stave off heart disease;
[*]•New genomic therapies repair damage after a myocardial infarction and prevent the mass apoptosis that commonly follows;
[*]•A nicotine vaccine allows smokers who wish to quit smoking to rid themselves of the physical craving for cigarettes; and
[*]•New antibiotics are used prophylactically to prevent chlamydia and other infections, which cardiovascular specialists continue to investigate as a cause of cardiovascular disease.
I'm disappointed to say few of these advances have actually come true, even four years after 2009. If the same applies to other fields of science, the pace of progress may turn out to be slower than we thought.