Technology and Market

The Biorevolution is Enabling New Opportunities

In-Q-Tel, Inc.

We are living through a period of what may justly be called a revolution in our understanding of living organisms and how they operate. One eminent biologist has called the present period “the Golden Age of Biological Science”. As is often the case when scientific understanding of natural phenomena advances, new technologies – tools intended to “harness that understanding to human purpose”[1]  – quickly follow. The biorevolution has generated and benefited from an array of new technologies that endow us with new powers to manipulate microbes, plants, animals, and even whole biosystems. These capabilities will be hugely beneficial to humankind, and will be useful across a wide range of applications, from medicine to agriculture to food production and materials science. But as with all powerful technologies, biotechnologies are “dual-use”, and can be used for malignant purposes.

[1] Arthur, W. B. (2009). The nature of technology: What it is and how it evolves. New York: Free Press.

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