Often we think about what could be, the perfect way to solve a problem, the most ideal way to solve a problem. This sort of speculation can lead to new solutions to problems or can serve as an excuse to avoid hard work and making a difference in the ways that we are able at that point in time. I was recently talking with a researcher who was bemoaning some of the limitations associated with recent gene editing technologies such as CRISPR-Cas9. There are three different paths that this thinking can proceed. The first is to motivate one to discover and invent something new, something better, something that will address the deficiencies which one has identified. The second is to refuse to use what is available focusing on the downside instead of the potential. The third is to use what is available at that point in time to make as great of a difference as one can.
These three different paths define who we are, how we live, and whether or not we will make a difference. Most of the time we must choose between the second and third choice. Use what is available to do what we can or relegate ourselves to the sidelines citing how less than optimal conditions for progress are. Perhaps the best option is to do what we can now while pressing forward to something better. That is the best of medicine and biomedical research. Using the tools we have now to treat the disease confronting patients in the present while also seeking new therapies and treatments for the patients who will present to us in the future. Pushing for better should no limit us to doing our best now with what we have. Let us make it our goal to do what we can with what we have while relentlessly pursuing better together.