We are at the beginning of a new era, where biology has shifted from an empirical science to an engineering discipline
After a millennia of using man-made approaches for controlling or manipulating biology, we have finally begun using nature’s own machinery—through biological engineering—to design, scale, and transform biology.
Our ability to engineer biology will fundamentally transform how we diagnose, treat, and manage disease
The first great leap forward took place in the early 1980s with recombinant DNA technology and the first biotech drug, thanks to our newfound ability to insert human genes into bacteria to produce human insulin. Today, modern tools like CRISPR and gene circuitry enable us to to program biology with greater and greater precision and sophistication, from bacteria that is engineered to produce new chemicals and proteins, to cells that are engineered to attack cancer. The explosion of “programmable medicines” (in the form of genes, cells, microbes, even mobile apps and software that can improve our health itself) are today leading us closer than ever before to that holy grail of medicine, the cure.
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