East meets west: How biotechnology accelerates shrinking of global economic divide

If current economic growth trends persist, the “great divergence” between Western Europe and East and South Asia in per capita income that commenced 200 years ago will close sometime this century. Key to the closing will be greater accessibility to technology, higher education in East and South Asia, and the relentless diffusion of knowledge including in the biosciences. Advances in the biosciences are poised to contribute in a major way to English economist Thomas Malthus’s four necessities of human life–food, fiber, fuel, and building materials–as well as to human and animal health, biodiversity conservation, and environmental remediation and sustainability.

Products arising from molecular biology constitute a growing share of the global economy with each passing year as technologies evolve, production processes improve, and markets expand. In recent years industrial biotechnology has grown faster than the biologic drugs and agricultural biotech sectors in the U.S.

Industrial biotechnology employs greener and cleaner technologies to make chemicals, solvents, fuels, and materials such as biocomposites and bioplastics. Growth in this sector can weaken the link between economic growth, environmental pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. Genomics, synthetic biology and metabolic engineering are poised to accelerate growth in the design and manufacture of industrial enzymes and renewable bio-based products. East and South Asian production and consumption of industrial enzymes are on the rise as the Asian middle class expands.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Bioscience will accelerate East-West convergence in the century ahead

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