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Serendipity Based Medicine (SBM): To Infinity and Beyond

By Joseph Eldor

Theoretical Medicine Institute, Israel


Published: Jul 14, 2017 | pg. no: 48

Abstract: Serendipity means a "fortunate happenstance" or "pleasant surprise". Serendip is the Perso-Arabic name for Sri Lanka (Ceylon). How do we inspire new ideas that could lead to potential treatments for rare or neglected diseases, and allow for serendipity that could help to catalyze them? How we can build a more concrete structure for the "idea-hypothesis testing-proof of concept-translation-breakthrough pathway"? What do Rollerblades, Häagen-Dazs ice cream, and Spider-Man movies have in common? The answer: Each is something that adults loved as children and that was reproduced in an expensive form for grown-ups. Asking brainstorming participants to ponder how their childhood passions could be recast as adult offerings might generate some fabulous ideas for new products or services. Stories of serendipitous discoveries in medicine incorrectly imply that the path from an unexpected observation to major discovery is straightforward or guaranteed. The causes of revolutionary science are varied and lack an obvious common structure. For many years, drug discovery was a target- and mechanism-agnostic approach that was based on ethnobotanical knowledge often fueled by serendipity. There should be a greater appreciation for the importance of serendipity in scientific discovery. Serendipity Based Medicine (SBM) should be the present and future of medicine. Big Data will need Big Thinking

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