Monday, 19 June 2017

Trends in biotech! The mapping of the human genome is just the beginning...

New tools and products developed by biotechnologists are transforming research, agriculture, industry & medicine. #TheSchoolOfLifesciences will be organizing popular lectures in biotechnology sponsored by #DBTIndia on Aug 3, 2017. Interested? Login to http://bit.ly/2tfTmbY​

​​The mapping of the human genome is just the beginning. Genomics, bioinformatics, Systems-Biology and Proteomics will transform biotech into an evolutionary design science affecting everything from health care to agriculture. Human performance enhancement will be the largest market in the 21st century.

Synthetic tissue and organisms, “friendly” biobots and bio-nanites, cybernetic enhancements, cellular “repair” systems and biochip implants . . . these are just a few of the applications already being developed.

Neural prosthetics, implantable biochips, cybernetic enhancement micro-devices . . . this was the stuff of science fiction even just a few years ago, but is already in production, and being provided in various forms to patients. The example shown here is from a line of products being developed and marketed by Medtronics. They are currently producing a variety of devices, including neural implants to treat the effects of epilpsy, and other neurological disorders.

Experts at the Institute Of Global Futures weigh in on the top ten biotech trends for the 21st Century
  • By 2020, we will decipher the human genome, the blueprint of our DNA.
  • Genetic solutions to human ills will be highly prized intellectual property.
  • New biotech drugs will save countless lives and eliminate many diseases.
  • We will create designer babies with altered genes to enhance their capabilities and eliminate unwanted characteristics.
  • We will learn to turn on and off certain genes to influence performance and health.
  • The convergence of biotech and computers will accelerate the genetic redesign of all living things.
  • We will learn to clone organs to enhance health and longevity.
  • Privacy issues about access to individuals’ genetic data will cause conflicts among people, business, and governments.
  • Careers, relationships, and opportunities will be influenced by genetic heritage.
  • Biotech for human enhancement will be the most profitable industry in the 21st century.

Meanwhile, advances in biotech offer great promise in the battle against the dreaded Alzheimer’s disease.The healthcare bills for dealing with it are astronomical—with one analysis estimating Alzheimer’s will gobble up one-fourth of Medicare spending in 2040. The pharmaceutical industry has had no effective response yet. Billions of dollars have been invested in targeted antibody drugs that are supposed to help clear out the buildup of amyloid-beta protein plaques that are thought to gum up memory and cognition as we age.

But we’re beginning to see some signs of support for alternative scientific approaches. Cambridge, Mass.-based Yumanity Therapeutics has created a new drug discovery engine for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. South San Francisco-based Annexon Biosciences, a Stanford University spinout, raised $44 million to build on research that suggests you can fight Alzheimer’s by stopping the immune system from removing synapses we need for neuronal functioning. EIP Pharma, another start-up, showed that an old anti-inflammatory drug improved cognition and memory in a small set of patients with mild Alzheimer’s. '

Where does current research and development go from here? Advanced sensory and neural enhancement devices, neural interconnect systems, micro and nano scale machines that patrol the human body constantly repairing and updating various organs, blood, tissue systems . . . this is just the beginning.

The ribosome, the nanofoundary of all living cells . . . here in its natural form, is being probed, and eventually will be hybrid engineered as the nanobiological machinery of creation.

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