FUTURE ASPECTS OF BIOTECHNOLOGY


“While technology generally aims to create tools to empower humans, biotechnology aims to change human himself, to better fit him in the changing world.” Simply put, biotechnology is the application of advances made in the biological sciences which have helped improve food quality, quantity and processing. But biotechnology is most important for its implications in health and medicine. In recent years, scientists have also attempted to employ the methods of genetic engineering to correct certain inherited conditions, and have been making great strides in their ability to manipulate genetic materials. But what’s next? Technological progress isn’t linear. We’ve recently seen dramatic examples that would have read like science fiction just a few years ago. Scouring the natural world can be an effective way of finding design inspiration for new scientific innovation. What the future holds-personalized medicine, genome engineering, gene therapy, biomanufacturing, biofuels, synthetic biology and technologies at the intersection of nanotechnology, biotechnology and engineering.

It is one of the biggest and most important science stories of the current years and will probably also be one of the biggest science stories of the next few years. this is as good a time as any to get acquainted with the powerful new gene editing technology known as CRISPR/Cas9.  In the past six years, scientists have figured out how to exploit a quirk in the immune systems of bacteria to edit genes in other organisms — plants, mice, even humans. With CRISPR, they can now make these edits quickly and cheaply, in days rather than weeks or months. What it can offer in future!


Gene drives: Scientists have also demonstrated that CRISPR could be used, in theory, to modify not just a single organism but an entire species. It’s an unnerving concept called “gene drive.”


Designer babies: This is the one that gets the most attention. It’s not entirely far-fetched to think we might one day use CRISPR to edit the human genome — to eliminate disease, or to select for athleticism or superior intelligence. Powerful new antibiotics and antivirals: we are running low on effective antibiotics as bacteria evolve resistance to them. Currently, it’s difficult and costly to develop fresh antibiotics for deadly infections. But CRISPR/Cas9 systems could, in theory, be developed to eradicate certain bacteria more precisely than ever. As powerful as CRISPR is-and it is, it’s not infallible yet, wrong edits still happen as well as errors that can occur anywhere in the DNA and might go unnoticed, the gene edit might achieve the desired result -disabling a disease, but also might accidently trigger unwanted changes. We just don’t know enough yet about the complex interplay of genes to avoid unpredictable consequences. Taking in further worlds brilliant minds are working on CRISPR 3.0 with improved efficiency and better accuracy. Having said all that genetic engineering might just be a step in the natural evolution of intelligent species in the universe, no matter what we say future is approaching and the insane friction can just be highly complex bio-engineering.

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