Did you ever hear about synthetic biology? No? Imagine that we could alter and produce DNA from scratch just like an engineer. Doesn’t it sound like one of the greatest interdisciplinary achievements in recent history?
Think about it, a bio-technologist is doing more or less the work of a programmer but instead of using a computer language he’s doing it by arranging molecules embedded in every living cell. The outcome, if ever mastered, could reshape the world around us dramatically.
The fully developed technology could be used to grow anything from furniture to buildings by bio-engineering mushrooms, moss and even bacteria. In fact, glowing bacteria are thought to become incorporated into city design and provide “natural” light wherever it’s needed.
There’s even more upside to synthetic biology as bringing back extinct species, wiping out diseases that have been a scourge of humanity or even terraforming Mars are becoming a possibility.
A new mini-documentary Web series called Explorations focuses on transformative areas of scientific research. Bryan Johnson, founder of OS Fund and the payments processing company Braintree, is using the latest installment in the series to shine a light on this very technology, adding that:
“The most stunning and consequential development of our time is this: we have built tools of creation that increasingly have the power to literally code any kind of world we imagine, […] Synthetic biology allows us to program organisms to grow objects. Genomics is starting to allow us to program our bodies. A.I. allows us to build new forms of intelligence.”
Have a look at the video and find out, why cutting-edge fields like synthetic biology promises to inspire young people in particular to build a truly visionary future world.
Yes, there are many calling for a philosophical and ethical debate addressing the potential peril and rightfully so. However, humanity has always been a leaping species making 2 steps forward and 1 step back. So, it’s we the people who need to make sure that it’s used responsibly for the greater good.
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