The following is an edited excerpt.
A few things that synthetic biology might bring to us in agriculture are: the ability to raise crops using fewer pesticides; an offer of greater food security; improved nutrition; livestock which produce medications or biological substances such as spider-silk; and an optimal source of biofuel.
One thing is for sure, we are adding new layers of complexity to our agricultural production system by using synthetic biology.
Will the added complexity eventually make us more or less secure? I expect many wonderful and useful technologies to emerge from the scientific applications of synthetic biology which we will be grateful for once we have them. Some could even “save the world”. But, these achievements may come at a steep price and greatly challenge our human value systems.
Read the full post here: Synthetic Biology. What Does it Mean for Agriculture?