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This netcast explores the rapidly changing world of biotech, with a penchant towards getting a better understanding of who we are and where we are going. The living world will soon be a true substrate for engineering. Our world will change, and so will we. 
We bring a first hand account from the scientists that are moving us into this new technological era: the era of biotech. 

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    « FiB Episode 018 - NanoBiotech | Main | FiB Episode 016 - 21st Century Biotech: Systems Biology »

    FiB Episode 017 - Are We Moving Towards a Singularity in Biotech?

    A panel of leading scientists (and an engineer!) make predictions on the future of biotechnology

    Host: Marc Pelletier

    Panelists:
    Dr. John Bergeron, Professor and Chair of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at McGill University, and former President of the Human Proteome Organization (HUPO), and founder of Caprion Proteomics

    Dr. Drew Endy, Cabot Assistant Professor of Biological Engineering at MIT, in Cambridge Massachusetts

    Dr. Edward Delong, Professor, Division of Biological Engineering & Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT

    Dr. Lee Hood is the President of the Institute for Systems Biology in Seatle, Washington

    Leo (our Chief TWiT) often mentions Ray Kurzweil's hypothesis of a singularity. Kurzwell writes that "Within a few decades, machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence, leading to The Singularity—technological change so rapid and profound it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history". This prompted me to think about what is currently going on in biotech: James Watson (Nobel Laureate that shared the prize for solving the structure of DNA) recently received a copy of his OWN genome. Also, scientists are developing drugs that could extend the human life span by thirty years (Ep. 2), and moreover, engineers are now considering biology to be a substrate for engineering: producing artificial chromosomes (Ep. 9) in the lab. These amazing developments raise the question of a singularity in biotechnology. Is the time approaching where we will have a --complete-- understanding of the underlying processes of life? If so, how will this change our health, medicine, our lives?

    It is clear that our greatest challenges still lie ahead: cancer, heart disease, HIV-AIDS, organ regeneration, environmental change etc... But the fact remains: technologies are advancing at logarithmic rates, and biotechnology is no exception. So for this episode, I sought out three world leading scientists (and engineer!) to discuss the current state of biotechnology, and what we should expect in this century- the century of biotech...

    DISCLAIMER: I had some difficulties with the audio from Canada. I struggled with Skype and Dr. Bergeron's bandwith and levels were low but audible. Since I didn't see it in the stars to be able to pull together this level of panelists again soon I went ahead with the recording. When I boosted his audio in post production, noise was also amplified and difficult to remove. Fortunately Ryan Leng from Pulau Pinang, Malaysia, did some great work improving clarity and listenability.

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    References (2)

    References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
    • Response
      The biotechnology is the good field to be adopted. And this is also the new field to be checked. The combination of science with the technology can make the world behind the thinking of the ordinary person. And that is what all we need from the time.
    • Response
      The future is unpredictable and totally base on the technology. The scientist works so hard to develop the human race and living standers. The biology progress to develop the cycle of living and change the human history. The positive change disastrously influences on the human future.

    Reader Comments (1)

    great show

    July 7, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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