7 ways biotechnology could change our lives in 2019

faber futures by natsai chieza as part of grow your own at science gallery sciencegallery com
Image credit: Natsai Chieza/Faber Futures

[Editor’s note: Key researchers and scientists were asked for their thoughts on 2019.] 

Gene editing, food innovation, and synthetic biology are poised to dramatically reshape our concept of what it means to be human.

Feng Zhang, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

“There are really exciting advances in three areas. The first area is CRISPR-based medicine. Clinical trials are beginning and drug developers are now testing CRISPR in the context of blood diseases, like sickle cell, and also testing it in the eye to treat blindness. There is also work that’s moving quite quickly to apply CRISPR in cancer treatments.”

David Sinclair, director of Harvard’s Center for the Biology of Aging

“[In my lab] we’ve been working on the molecule NAD. We published in Cell in March that by raising NAD levels we could rapidly reverse many aspects of aging in mice. [We gave] old mice the ability to run like young mice again and actually out-compete young mice.”

Related article:  We have the power to wipe out mosquitoes and malaria—but is that a good idea?

Natsai Chieza, founder of Faber Futures, a biodesign lab

“I’m excited to see the circular economy become part of the conversation in synthetic biology this year. There’s huge potential for biology to offer better alternatives to the current system of production and manufacturing. Creating new materials is the macro aspect, but biology can also help to repurpose materials, or create sustainable chemicals that are used in the processing of materials.”

Read full, original post: 7 Big Biotech Ideas for 2019

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