Biotechnology combines biological systems and technology into one, creating a new form of products or tech. In other words, biotechnology is the latest scientific breakthrough, and there is still much to learn about its potential.
Given the potential of biotechnology, it can be overwhelming to stay updated on all current and rising developments. Here are some of the most exciting biotechnology developments to look forward to.
Executive Order on Biotechnology
Before we dive into biotechnology developments on the horizon, we should first discuss the recent executive order signed regarding biotechnology. The president promised to advance biotechnology and biomanufacturing innovation in this executive order. The goal is to create a sustainable and safe bioeconomy. In other words, the executive order directly supports further biotechnology advances.
Gene Editing and Sequencing
The concept of gene editing isn’t new – look up how long movies like Gattica have existed. However, it never really felt real, not until recently. Scientists have been working hard to discover ways to utilize gene editing to cure all kinds of diseases, from Tay-Sachs disease to breast cancer and everything in between.
Recent discoveries indicate that scientists might be able to replace the problematic gene (read: the one causing the disease) or silence it altogether. We will have to stay tuned to this, as each condition will likely require its own sequencing.
Another concern experts have been tackling is organ and tissue transplants. If you’ve ever had a loved one sit on the waiting list for an organ donor, then you know that the current system is not sustainable.
Thankfully, scientists have been working on ways to grow organs and tissues for those that need them. There are several methods currently in testing, so only time will tell which proves the most effective.
Interestingly, some experts have been taking this field of study differently. Instead of growing human tissue, they have been working on an agricultural solution. Many believe that the meat industry is not sustainable due to its carbon footprint. For this reason (and several others), scientists are trying to create cultured meat production. In other words, they are trying to find an ethical and sustainable way to grow meat.